Lexden Springs Local Nature Reserve, know locally as 'The Loop', was declared a Nature Reserve in 1990 and was the first Local Nature Reserve to be opened in Colchester.
Lexden Springs site information
How to get there
Walk / Cycle: There are three pedestrian entrances to the site, one from Spring Lane, one from Hurnard Drive, both linked by a public right of way, plus an entrance off of Lexden Road near the junction to Tapwoods. Colchester by bike map
By Road: Parking - no official parking area is provided for the site, some limited local parking is available on Spring Lane.
Find on the map.
All day, every day.
Facilities and access
- Walking routes: benches are located at intervals along the circular walk in the upper meadow (0.5km). The path net work is un-surfaced with quite steep slopes, can be quite muddy at times.
- A dog bins is located at the Spring Lane entrance to the site.
- Cycling is not possible on site
- No fishing, fires or camping.
History, vegetation and wildlife
The site consists of 1.8ha (4.5 acres) of unimproved meadow, rich in locally scarce wild flowers. These include the Harebell, Pignut and the Devil's-bit Scabious.
At the base of the slope is a pond formed from a natural spring. The water flows out of the pond all year round creating an interesting marshy habitat below. The steam flows into the River Colne on the other side of the Avenue of Remembrance.
The meadow is managed by mechanically cutting and removing the arisings in October. This ensures that the flower species are not cut until they have set seed but the coarser growth of nettle, bramble and scrub is controlled preventing them from dominating the site.
Occasional guided walks and children's activities are provided. Currently there are no forest schools on site or 'friends' groups associated with the site.
Lexden Springs action plan of works 2021-22