Cowdray Marsh

Small but important Local Wildlife Site.


  • How to get there
  • Opening times
  • History, vegetation and wildlife
  • Our work

How to get there

River Bank Walk, Colchester, runs along the edge of the site CO1 1QJ.  There is limited parking along Meander Mews.

Opening times

All day, every day.

History, vegetation and wildlife

This small, but important Local Wildlife Site, was acquired by the Council several years ago. A majority of the area consists of open marshland made up of rushy marsh vegetation including Common Spike-rush, an infrequent plant in Essex.  The area also includes several small ponds and scrapes that flood during the winter months.

Twenty two breeding bird species have been recorded at the site including several birds of conservation concern. 

The river Colne, which runs along the edge of the marshland area, has been noted as having significant recordings of several mammal species of Principal Importance in England.

It is worth mentioning that currently there is no permitted public access to the site, however there is an adjacent footpath running along the northern boundary which affords good views of the habitats without the need to enter the area.

Our work

We are currently working to keep the marshland area free of willow and alder seedlings by coppicing and clearing large sections of the affected area on an annual basis. Work to install features designed to prevent water loss from the site (hence maintaining it as a 'wetland area') is currently underway.  Several aquatic surveys were carried out during the spring and summer months.

The site is regularly patrolled and litter picked by the site ranger and by CBC volunteers.

Cowdray Marsh action plan of works 2022-23

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