• Update - current opening arrangements

    The reserve is now open Tues-Sun, 9.30am-5pm.
    This includes our shop, cafe, car park, trails and toilets.
    Our cafe is serving a takeaway menu, 10am-4.30pm.
    Following clarification of government guidance, sadly our hides will now need to remain closed until mid May.
    • 12 Apr 2021
  • The breeding season gets underway.

    We found our first lapwing nest of the year last week, on the 15th March.
    This is an early date, and compares to 21st, 29th and 30th March as the first nest date in previous recent years.
    Twenty eight days to incubate is about typical for lapwing, and then about the same time for the young to fledge, so this is only the beginning of a busy few weeks for our adult lapwings.
    The pic below is from a few years ago…
    • 22 Mar 2021
  • One good tern...

    Burntwick Island lies in the Medway estuary, nestled between Chatham Docks and the Isle of Sheppey. For the last 25 years, this shingled rump off the north Kent coast has been home to one of the largest colonies of Sandwich terns on the east coast of England.

    At its peak in 2003, this amazing colony supported 700 breeding pairs of these impressive seabirds. With just 12,000 pairs in the UK, the colony is hugely important…

    • 18 Mar 2021
  • New opening arrangements

    Some good news to share - from this week, our opening arrangements are changing.
    The car park, trails and toilets will now be open from Weds-Sun, 9.30am-5pm.
    Our cafe will also re-open, with a takeaway menu, serving from 10am-4.30pm.
    Our hides and shop remain closed, but we have plans for re-opening these in the near future. 
    • 14 Mar 2021
  • Coltsfoot brightens this cold spell

    Despite the cold wind and rain, the always early flowering coltsfoot are out, and providing a welcome splash of spring colour. The first sand martin of the year was seen here yesterday too.


    • 13 Mar 2021
  • Aveley trail to re-open

    With water levels now dropping, our main trail around Aveley Marsh will reopen this week, Thurs-Sun, 9.30am-5pm. Walking boots or wellies still recommended.

    Our hides, café and shop remain closed.

    • 2 Mar 2021
  • Engaging with young people - we need help from 18-29's

    Are you aged between 18-29?

    Would you like to support the RSPB and other conservation organisations with a project looking at how to better engage young people as volunteers to monitor wildlife on farms for conservation? Then we want to hear your views! We are looking to speak with a range of young people from all walks of life including people who have volunteered before, have no volunteering experience, and a high to…

    • 25 Feb 2021
  • Helping Garden Birds this time of year...

    The sun is currently streaming in my window, and the snow of a couple of weeks ago is forgotten. It feels like spring may well be here soon!

    You may see birds in the garden singing away or investigating around your garden. Have you seen any signs of spring in your gardens on on your local walks?



    Feeding Birds

    This time of year can have quite varied weather - which can make it difficult for garden birds to find…

    • 23 Feb 2021
  • Snow arrives

    A light covering of snow here today, and ice/snow around the water edges too. Fieldfare and lapwing flocks very evident, plus snipe, pintail and wigeon all doing their best to cope with the conditions.


    • 8 Feb 2021
  • Aveley Marsh trail now closed.

    Unfortunately we have had to make the difficult but necessary decision to close our main trail around Aveley Marsh.
    This is due to increasingly high water levels meaning several lengthy sections of the trail are under water.
    Our car park, toilets and access to the riverwall remain open, for local, essential exercise.
    Our opening hours are Thurs-Sun, 9.30am to 5pm.
    Hides, shop and café are closed.
    • 2 Feb 2021
  • Friday 29 Jan wildlife highlights and Big Garden Birdwatch

    Some of our wildlife highlights this week have included 53 pintail, 12 curlew, 20 dunlin, snipe, 50 redshank, 3 marsh harrier, peregrine, raven, skylark, fieldfare, and stonechat.

    You still need your wellyboots if you want to visit! 




    Big Garden Birdwatch

    The weekend is here and it’s time to take part! Remember to submit your results by 19 Feb.

    Spend an hour counting the birds you see in your garden or from…

    • 30 Jan 2021
  • Lovely conditions for ducks

    The marshes are very wet at the moment, which is great for our wintering birds. Recent counts found 5,083 birds on the marshes and surrounding parts of the Thames, including 1,373 wigeon, 735 teal, 175 shoveler and 1,218 lapwing, plus a supporting cast of pintail, gadwall, pochard, dunlin and others. 
    The wintering flock of redwing and fieldfare are still with us, feeding on the grassland, often mixed in with starlings…
    • 22 Jan 2021
  • You'll need welly boots

    If visiting for essential local exercise, the wet conditions on some sections of the path means that welly boots are a must at the moment.

    • 21 Jan 2021
  • Big Garden Birdwatch and Recent Sightings (17/1/21)

    I hope you are all staying safe and well.

    Big Garden Birdwatch

    I just wanted to do a quick post as a reminded that the Big Garden Birdwatch is nearly here!

    Enjoy an hour with nature and discover the wildlife on your doorstep! 

    Spend an hour counting the birds, between 29-31 January, you see in your garden or from your balcony, then tell us what you saw. It really is that simple!

    Go to rspb.org.uk/birdwatch for more…

    • 17 Jan 2021
  • Big Garden Birdwatch 2021

    #BigGardenBirdWatch registration is now OPEN

    The world’s largest wildlife survey is back from 29 - 31 January, and we need your help to determine how our feathered friends are faring. Join in the fun by signing up here



    • 11 Jan 2021
  • Update - reserve staying open.

    As we enter Lockdown3, and in line with government guidance the reserve will be staying OPEN for local, essential, daily exercise only.
    We will be open Thurs-Sun, 9.30am-4.30pm.
    Our car park, trails and toilets will be open.
    Our shop, café and hides will be closed.
    We strongly urge you to follow the legislation around non-essential travel and please visit your most local nature reserves and green spaces only.
    • 6 Jan 2021
  • Lockdown 3

    Following the Government announcement of a #lockdown, we are looking into the details of their guidance and our staffing levels for safely managing our sites, to ascertain what is possible on our reserves. We will update you on here as soon as we know more. Thank you for your continued support and patience in these challenging times.

    • 5 Jan 2021
  • New viewing screen

    With our hides currently closed due to the Tier 4 restrictions, we have created two simple viewing windows in the screen near the Purfleet hide, that allow excellent views of the Purfleet scrape.
    Lots of wildfowl still to be seen on the scrape here, plus curlew, black-tailed godwit and lapwing.
    Short-eared owl seen on the reserve over the weekend, plus water pipit still present

    • 4 Jan 2021
  • A cold morning

    A cold and frosty morning here today, and large areas of the marshes frozen since yesterday.
    Creates a very different looking landscape, and wildlife has to adapt and often behaves differently - always makes it worthwhile if you can dress up warmly and brave the weather.
    The area of unfrozen water on the Purfleet Scrape below held 1050 wigeon, 105 shoveler and 32 pintail. Amazing how they cope with the cold.

    • 31 Dec 2020
  • New Years Day

    A reminder that our Christmas opening will be as follows: 
    Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day – CLOSED
    Dec 27th and 28th – OPEN
    Dec 29th and 30th – CLOSED
    Dec 31st – Jan 3rd – OPEN 
    Please also note, that on New Years Day, our car park will be open from 8am to allow early access to the riverwall. Main reserve trails will open at 9.30am as normal.
    • 23 Dec 2020
  • Tier 4, and a Christmas reminder

    Following the Government's announcement yesterday we are now in Tier 4 -  the reserve will be staying open, but please note all the hides, shop and bike hire will now have to close.
    The reserve will be open Thurs-Sun, 9.30am-4.30pm, and our café (takeaway only, 10am-4pm) and toilets will remain open (see Christmas opening times below).
    We will continue to operate a track and trace system, and will be asking…
    • 20 Dec 2020
  • January's guided walks

    Unfortunately, the guided walk events we had planned for January have now had to be postponed. We hope to bring them back as soon as we can - we will update when we know more. 
    Sorry for the disappointment, and thank-you for bearing with us.
    • 18 Dec 2020
  • Hot food and wonderful wildlife

    From tomorrow, hot sausage rolls, cheese and onion pasties and hot soup now available for takeaway from our café, plus teas, coffees, cakes etc. And bring your binoculars for a festival of wintering duck, lapwings and marsh harriers.


    • 17 Dec 2020
  • As we enter Tier 3, and plans for Christmas.

    As we go into Tier 3, the reserve will be staying open, but please note all the hides will now have to close.
    The reserve will be open Thurs-Sun, 9.30am-4.30pm, and our café (takeaway only, 10am-4pm) and shop and toilets will remain open (see Christmas opening times below).
    We will continue to operate a track and trace system, and will be asking visitors to wear a face covering in the shop and café.
    • 15 Dec 2020
  • Guided walks starting again, from January.

    We are starting our guided walks again, from January 2021.
    Join us and explore the marshes, with an experienced and friendly guide who can show you the wildlife to be seen on the reserve at the moment.
    These walks will be conducted in a Covid secure way, following all available guidance and safeguards.
    Please book via the links below, using Eventbrite, its quick and easy...
    Wildlife Walks: https://thewildlifewalk…
    • 8 Dec 2020