Places to Visit

A selection of wildlife sites to visit in the district. Try the clickable map or use the list beneath.

Wildlife Places

Click the pins to see more information

Wildlife Places
Harrison Sayer Reserve Shadwell Wood SSSI Little Hales Wood Little Chesterford roadside verge Noakes Grove Audley End House grounds Rowney Wood West Wood SSSI Linnets Wood Aubrey Buxton nature reserve Bendysh Woods Turners Spring Rushy Mead Sawbridgeworth Marsh Woodside Green Wall Wood Hatfield Forest Sweetings Meadow Flitch Way - Dunmow cutting Garnetts Wood Birchanger Wood Farnham Common

Harrison Sayer Reserve

Shadwell Wood SSSI

Shadwell Wood, Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve - see our page

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/places-to-visit/shadwell-wood/

Little Hales Wood

Little Hales Wood - Forestry Commission - ancient wood replanted with conifers and now partially cleared for natural regeneration. See Wild Essex web page here -

http://www.wildessex.net/sites/Little%20Hales%20Wood.htm

Little Chesterford roadside verge

Little Chesterford roadside verge - wildflower grassland with a good range of summertime chalk loving species - created on the site of an old road bypassed when a new roundabout was built. Turn into the village and immediately left into the service road, and the grassland is beyond the wooden fence.

Link to Info Sheet - https://www.uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Little-Chesterford-roadside-verge.pdf

Noakes Grove

Noakes Grove Nature Reserve - a privately run nature reserve open to the public - see our web page -

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/things-to-do/volunteer/noakes-grove/

or the web page of the organisation which runs it -

https://www.walden-countryside.co.uk/

Audley End House grounds

Audley End House - English Heritage - Entrance fee payable - the grounds of the house are run on nature friendly lines, wildflowers in the grassland, wildfowl on the lake.

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/audley-end-house-and-gardens/

Rowney Wood

Rowney Wood: Debden - Forestry Commission - TL57603428 - Access Free on foot at all times, parking in the road chippings bay opposite Carver Barracks, Elder Street. - Ancient woodland replanted to conifers and now returned to native woodland by natural regeneration, but greatly hampered by deer.

West Wood SSSI

West Wood nature reserve - Essex Wildlife Trust

Managed coppice woodland - see our page here -

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/places-to-visit/west-wood/

Linnets Wood

Linnets Wood, Ugley - Woodland Trust

A newly created woodland in the 1990s - More information on the Wild Essex website here -

https://wildessex.net/sites/Linnets%20Wood.htm

The Woodland Trust has its management plan on this link -

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/media/47059/4510-linnets-wood.pdf

Aubrey Buxton nature reserve

Aubrey Buxton nature reserve - Essex Wildlife Trust - woodland, grassland and lakes -

More information on our page here -

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/places-to-visit/aubrey-buxton-nature-reserve/

Bendysh Woods

Bendysh Woods - Forestry Commission - ancient broadleaf woodland planted to conifers and now being converted back to broadleaved trees.

More information on the Wild Essex website here -

http://www.wildessex.net/sites/Bendysh%20Woods.htm

Turners Spring

Turners Spring - Essex Wildlife Trust - woodland and grasslands - accessible by public footpath from Burton End.

More information on our page here -

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/places-to-visit/turners-spring/

Rushy Mead

Rushy Mead nature reserve - Essex Wildlife Trust - woodland and marsh - access from the River Stort towpath. Large areas are too wet for access on foot, but they are good for wildlife. More information on our page here -

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/places-to-visit/rushy-mead/ 

Sawbridgeworth Marsh

Sawbridgeworth Marsh - Essex Wildlife Trust - Access through the marsh on a raised walkway - specialist wetland plants, birds and insects.

More information on our page here -

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/places-to-visit/sawbridgeworth-marsh/

Woodside Green

Woodside Green - National Trust - part of the Hatfield Forest complex - common grazing grassland.

More information on the Wild Essex website -

http://www.wildessex.net/sites/Woodside%20Green.htm

Wall Wood

Wall Wood - National Trust - part of the Hatfield Forest complex - Ancient woodland adjacent to Hatfield Forest – with the southernmost Oxlips in England and Oxlip-Primrose hybrids.

More information on the Wild Essex website -

http://www.wildessex.net/sites/Wall%20Wood.htm

Hatfield Forest

Hatfield Forest - National Trust - Ancient wood pasture, a National Nature Reserve and SSSI: An incredible survival of a medieval Forest: the most important in England, though now suffering from the grazing pressure of too many deer. Car parking charges. Pre-booking at peak times. More information here -

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hatfield-forest

Sweetings Meadow

Sweetings Meadow - Essex Wildlife Trust - an old orchard with old varieties of fruit trees, the main wildlife interest is the wildflowers.

More information on our page here -

https://uttlesford-wildlife.org.uk/places-to-visit/sweetings-meadow/

Flitch Way - Dunmow cutting

Part of  The Flitch Way which runs  from Hatfield Forest through Takely, Great Dunmow, Felstead to Braintree – Essex County Council - Access Free on foot at all times and a National Cycle Network route – The old railway line from Braintree to Bishop’s Stortford: now a linear country park with a mix of habitats. Best wildflowers in the cutting just west of Great Dunmow, where cycling is not permitted, can be partly flooded.

Leaflet from Essex Highways;

https://www.essexhighways.org/uploads/files/flitchway.pdf

Garnetts Wood

Garnetts Wood - Essex County Council - Ancient coppice woodland, Small-leaved Lime, ponds and streams.

More information on the Wild Essex website -

http://www.wildessex.net/sites/Garnetts%20Wood.htm

Birchanger Wood

Birchanger Wood - Ancient Bluebell and Anemone wood

http://www.wildessex.net/sites/Birchanger%20Wood.htm

Farnham Common

Farnham Common - not a piece of Common Land but privately owned, but public access on foot is permitted to see the wide range of wildflower species which grow here on land that has not been ploughed or treated with fertilisers - now very rare. Remote and quite hard to find.

Another guide to wildlife sites in Uttlesford can be found on the Wild Essex website at http://www.wildessex.net/main/Uttlesford.html

Essex Wildlife Trust sites can be found on their website on this link http://www.essexwt.org.uk/wildlife/reserves

Little Hales Wood
linkAshdon – Forestry commission – TL57603428 – Access Free on foot at all times. Park in the field entry opposite ‘Barleycroft’ – Coniferised wood now being de-coniferised. Woodland flora, butterflies, deer.

Name Details
Aubrey Buxton Nature Reserve, Alsa Street, Stansted.
link
Stansted – Essex Wildlife Trust – TL52172644 – Access Free on foot at all times – High woodland, grassland; lakes. Photo by Roger Jones on Geograph
Audley End House grounds.
link
Saffron Walden -English Heritage – TL52333802 – Entry and car park charge to the grounds and house – The Lake can be viewed without entering the grounds from the road bridge – good for birds especially overwintering waterfowl, and bats on summer evenings.
Bendysh Woods
link
Radwinter – Forestry Commission – TL61873975 – Access Free on foot at all times – Ancient oxlip woods, once designated as SSSI but damaged by coniferisation. Now under restoration to natural broad-leaved woodlands with wide rides and formerly rich flora but damaged by vehicle ruts
Birchanger Wood
link
Birchanger / Bishop’s Stortford – Birchanger Woods Trust – TL50572246 Access Free on foot at all times – Ancient coppice anemone and bluebell wood
Farnham Green Village green filled with wildflowers in June and July, puts all the other village greens to shame, especially those looking like a bowling green – TL468254 – No website . – Access Free on foot at all times – Amazing wildflower grassland
Flitch Way Dunmow Cutting
link
Runs from Hatfield Forest through Takely, Great Dunmow, Felstead to Braintree – Essex County Council – TL51942126 to TL71462210 – Access Free on foot at all times and a National Cycle Network route – The old railway line from Braintree to Bishop’s Stortford: now a linear country park with a mix of habitats. Best wildflowers in the cutting just west of Great Dunmow, where cycling is not permitted, can be partly flooded.
Garnetts Wood
link
High Easter – Essex County Council – TL63491845 – Access Free on foot at all times – Ancient coppice woodland, Small-leaved Lime, ponds and streams
Harrison Sayer
link
Hadstock – Essex Wildlife Trust – TL55754412 – Access Free on foot at all times – Boulder clay grassland with rare wildflowers and remains of WWII airfield structures.  Photos by Roger Jones on Geograph.
Hatfield Forest
link
Hatfield Broad Oak – National Trust – TL547220 – Access Free on foot at all times, but with Car parking charges – SSSI: An incredible survival of a medieval Forest: the most important in England, though now suffering from the grazing pressure of too many deer.
Linnets Wood
link
Ugley – Woodland Trust – TL51622723 – Access Free on foot at all times – Small plantation of recently created mixed broadleaf woodland
Little Chesterford roadside verge
Little Chesterford roadside verge – wildflower grassland with a good range of summertime chalk loving species – created on the site of an old road bypassed when a new roundabout was built. Turn into the village and immediately left into the service road, and the grassland is beyond the wooden fence.
Noakes Grove
link
Sewards End – privately owned nature reserve with open access – TL572388 – Access Free on foot at all times.
Rowney Wood
link
Debden – Forestry Commission – TL57603428 – Access Free on foot at all times, parking in the road chippings bay opposite Carver Barracks, Elder Street. – Ancient woodland replanted to conifers and now returned to native woodland by natural regeneration, but greatly hampered by deer.
Rushy Mead
link
Great Hallingbury – Essex Wildlife Trust – TL49791965 – Access Free on foot at all times – Wetlands by the River Stort. Photo by Roger Jones on Geograph
Sawbridgeworth Marsh
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Little Hallingbury – Essex Wildlife Trust – TL49391598 – Access Free on foot at all times – Natural springs feed this waterlogged marsh. Good for spring flowers including Early and Southern Marsh Orchids.
Shadwell Wood
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Ashdon – Essex Wildlife Trust – TL57364123 – Access Free on foot at all times. Park in the field entry opposite ‘Barleycroft’on the east side of the road and walk back across the road and along the track beside ‘Barleycroft’ – A worked coppice wood cut on a rotational pattern with Spring flowers including Oxlip in mid-April. Photo by Glyn Baker on Geograph.
Sweetings Meadow
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Lindsell – Essex wildlife Trust – TL63232859 – Access Free on foot at all times – Small orchard with traditional Apple varieties and meadow flowers including Common Spotted and Pyramidal Orchids. Photo by Tony Morton.
Turner’s Spring
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Stansted – Essex Wildlife Trust – TL52922417 – Access Free on foot at all times – Broadleaved Bluebell wood plus ancient meadow. Photo by Roger Jones on Geograph.
Wall Wood
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Great Hallingbury – National Trust – TL52761868 – Access Free on foot at all times – Ancient woodland adjacent to Hatfield Forest – with the southernmost Oxlips in England and Oxlip-Primrose hybrids.
West Wood
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Little Sampford – Essex Wildlife Trust – TL62403320 – Access Free on foot at all times – SSSI: ancient oxlip wood, great crested newts, orchids. Photo by Roger Jones on Geograph.
Woodside Green
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The Hallingburys – National Trust – TL51791843 – Access Free on foot at all times – Ancient pasture