Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
Grid ref: TQ 693 805 (click for o/s map)
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What was once the largest landfill site in western Europe, at Mucking, is gradually being converted into a nature park. The first section was opened by David Attenborough in 2013 and further sections will open over the coming years as restoration continues.
It consists mainly of rough grassland and supports good numbers of skylarks, harvest mice and other small mammals, and also many reptiles. Its wild flowers attract pollinating insects such as bumblebees. Barn owls hunt over the rough grassland all year, and short-eared owls visit in winter.
From a bird hide and from the top of the visitor centre there are fine views across Mucking Flats and the Thames, where internationally important numbers of ringed plover and avocet, and nationally important numbers of grey plover, dunlin, godwit and redshank feed in winter.
Accessed from Mucking Wharf Road, south of Stanford-le-Hope. Enter Stanford-le-Hope from the west via the A1013 and turn right on to Butts Lane. Mucking Wharf Road turns off left c. 400m down. Follow the road across the railway then straight on to the reserve entrance SatNav: SS17 0RN.
20 minutes' walk from Stanford-le-Hope station (Fenchurch St line). Turn right outside the station then right again into Wharf Road. After passing under the railway turn right on to the footpath across Stanford Warren nature reserve, which emerges on to Mucking Wharf Road. Turn left and follow the road to the reserve entrance.
9 am to 5 pm every day except Christmas Day.
Autumn and winter for migrating and over-wintering birds; spring and summer for wild flowers and songbirds.
An all-ability path leads to a bird hide overlooking the estuary
Dogs allowed only on leads