A 17 acre site which lies to the south of the town's former harbour between the Hythe and Rowhedge. It comprises a number of former dredging lagoons. The dredging ceased in the mid seventies and has turned into a valuable haven for wildlife.
Hythe Lagoons (PDF, 8.4MB)
How to get there
By road: Access is from Haven Road. Park close to Silvertons Aggregates and follow the riverside footpath towards Rowhedge. Roadside parking only. Postcode: CO2 9GW. Find on the map.
By cycle: Access is from the follow the riverside footpath towards Rowhedge. Colchester by bike map
All day, every day.
Facilities and access
- Bird viewing point
- Occasional guided walks
History, vegetation and wildlife
The lagoons form a series of raised plateaus in the Colne valley surrounded by raised banks. The southern plateau fills with water in the Winter to form a shallow raised lagoon. The site is important for birds with 101 species recorded and 28 species breeding on the site. These have included avocet, little ringed plover, redshank and lapwing.
A screen was constructed in Autumn 2012 to view the birdlife without causing a disturbance. Recent planting of berry rich scrub will also provide food and cover.
The lagoons are surrounded by rough grass and shallow ditches where Water Crowfoot, Sea Club Rush and Arrow Grass grow.
Badgers are frequent visitors leaving their tell tale network of paths behind them. If you visit the site when there is snow on the ground you can often see their prints in the snow.
As this is an important site for birdlife we respectfully ask visitors to keep their dogs on lead.
Recent planting of shrubs will provide food and cover for birdlife. Facilities to view bird life have been constructed. The site is kept clean and clear of rubbish during regular clear ups.
Hythe Lagoons Action plan of works 2021-22