Old Hall Marshes (SSSI)
|Address||Old Hall Lane, near Tollesbury|
|Grid Ref||TL959 124|
At over 1,000 acres, this RSPB nature reserve is by far the largest wildlife or recreational site in the Maldon District. Embanked from the sea towards the end of the 16th century, Old Hall Marshes was one of 7 significant blocks of semi-natural grassland remaining in Essex when purchased by RSPB in 1984 as a refuge for over-wintering brent geese. It has since developed into a series of outstanding habitats and now regularly hosts 10 - 20,000 wintering wildfowl and is recognised as being perhaps the best grazing marsh in the country making it almost unique in the context of present day coastal wetlands.
The site consists of grassland, reedbed, saltmarsh and open water and is grazed by cattle and sheep to provide the right conditions for a number of different bird species. Species include 600 pairs of breeding waders and wildfowl and nationally important breeding populations of marsh harrier, pochard, barn owl and bearded tits.
Vehicular access to the site is by permit only but it is possible to walk the whole way around the site perimeter by using the sea wall footpaths from Tollesbury or Salcott.
If you need any further help or advice, please contact the warden on 01621 869015.