We have made the difficult decision to close the main trails at Rainham Marshes in an effort to help restrict the spread of coronavirus. The car park and River Wall trails will remain open if you would like to get out into nature and enjoy a walk, this will take place from Tuesday 24 March.


The safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff are paramount – please follow social distancing guideline of staying 2 m away from other people and follow government guidance on personal hygiene.


. . .


Where can I walk?

You can explore the River Wall part of the reserve. You can walk your dog, ride a bicycle or scooter along the River Wall. The car park will remain open.

Explore alongside the River Thames – if you walk all the way from the car park, around the hill and back that will be 5 miles! Keep an eye out for boats on the river, seals, and lots of other wildlife!


To help prevent the spread of the remain at least 2m from other people and follow government guidance on personal hygiene. We can all help stop the spread of the virus – stay safe everyone.


Rainham Opening Times: 

9.30 am-5 pm (the car park and gates will lock after this time)


What is closed?

The visitor centre (including bicycle hire), toilets, toddlers playground, cafe, shop, main trails and hides will remain closed. Events have been postponed for the time being. 


Are the toilets open?

To try and keep you safe we have decided to close the toilets.


How do I get to the River Wall?

From the car park go through the open gates and up the ramp - that will bring you to the River Wall. The stairs around the building will be closed. 


Is there a charge?

We want to do everything we can to help people and our local community safely experience nature at this time, which is why we are keeping our River Wall walk and car park open. Therefore, we are also waiving our car park fee so people can enjoy our site at no cost.


What might I see?

Recently we have seen common scoter on the river, avocet, lapwing, redshank, black-tailed godwit, ruff, snipe, water rail, oystercatcher, curlew, wheatear, water pipit, rock pipit, blackcap, stonechat, chiffchaff, bearded tit, shelduck, pintail, pochard, gadwall, tufted duck, raven, jackdaw, rook, marsh harrier, peregrine, buzzard, red kite, and short-eared owl.


Buzzard by Ian Plume


How do I keep up to date with the reserve?

If you are unable to get out into nature physically, then we will be here providing updates, news, photos, blogs and more, to help you keep connected with nature over the coming weeks. You can follow us on @RSPBRainham on Twitter and Facebook and here on the blog.

We are thinking of doing little video blogs, or perhaps some live videos so you can chat to us too - would that be of interest? 


Are bicycles/ scooters/ dogs/ ball games allowed?

The River Wall section of the reserve is good for dogs, bicycles (for more details about the cycles routes have a look here).


Are the other Essex reserves open?

Yes - RSPB Wallasea, Old Hall and the South Essex reserves are open as usual (please check their opening times). 

  • RSPB Wallasea Island is a magical landscape of marshland, lagoons, ditches and sea. Walk along the seawalls to see the saltmarsh, mudflats and lagoons, where terns dive into the water in summer and huge flocks of waders and wildfowl arrive in winter.
    Open every day 8am – dusk. For full details about the reserve go to the website
  • RSPB Old Hall Marshes comprises extensive grazing marshes with brackish water fleets, reedbeds, saltmarsh and two off-shore islands. Breeding species here include avocet, lapwing, redshank, pochard, shoveler and bearded tit. During migration, marsh harriers, wheatears, whinchats and waders can also be seen, making this the perfect spot for avid birdwatchers.
    Opening times 9am to 5pm weekdays or dusk if sooner. Car park is closed at weekends. For more details go here

  • RSPB Bowers Marsh is made up of grassland, marshland, lagoons, and wetland and it's a beautiful reserve for walks through these different habitats. Follow one of the trails and you are likely to see or hear something of interest, from ducks in the winter to a lucky glance of a kingfisher.
    Open at all times. Please check the website for more details. 

  • RSPB Vange Marsh is a glorious mosaic of wetland habitats that attract many species of birds throughout the year. The fresh and saltwater lagoons here host breeding avocets, little ringed plovers, lapwings and reed buntings. While wigeons, teals and shovelers are regular visitors in the winter.
    Open at all times. Go to the website for full details.

  • RSPB West Canvey Marshes is part of the RSPB South Essex reserves, a network of wet and dry grassland, reed beds, lagoons, saltmarsh and scrub giving people a chance to see a whole host of wildlife. Come in summer, when there are singing skylarks, or in winter for the chance to see a short-eared owl.
    Open daily except Christmas day, Boxing day and New Years day. Full details can be found here