Marsh Farm Country Park

A 300-acre country park adjacent to the River Crouch, offering scenic walks with fantastic views over the country park and the river.

At a glance

Opening times

8am-dusk. For specific closing times see here.

The park is open every day.

For park enquiries call: 01702 551072

For event enquiries: Events.ExploreEssex@essex.gov.uk

For filming enquiries: Filming.Explore@essex.gov.uk

Or for event and filming enquiries call: 03330 138222

*Visitor Notice*

There may be some disruption in accessing the car park between 4 September and 10 September, due to the installation of an automated gate.


Find & contact

Marsh Farm Country Park, South Woodham Ferrers, , Chelmsford , CM3 5WP
Get directions

01245 222350

country.parks@essex.gov.uk

Parking & prices

Free

At this place

  • Dogs allowed
  • Picnics allowed
  • BBQs not allowed



Introduction

*Ditch Restoration and Water Vole Works - Marsh Farm Country Park*

We'd like to inform visitors that scrub removal has been taking place at Marsh Farm Country Park, spring 2023.

This is an important part of our ditch restoration works, which have been agreed by Natural England (the government’s statutory body responsible for natural green infrastructure).

The programme is aimed at expanding the right habitat and environment in which Water Voles (a protected species) can thrive, therefore encouraging growth of the resident population at Marsh Farm.

As well as scrub removal, a series of sluices are being fitted, to help keep the water at the right levels in the ditches to support the animals.

A full nesting bird survey has been carried out on the site prior to the removal, and continuous observations will be made during the works.

Please visit safely. Always:

  • Keep dogs under control
  • Respect other users on multi-use trails
  • Be water aware and supervise children and dogs near ponds, rivers and lakes
  • Note that swimming is prohibited
  • Keep off the ice in the winter

A stunning 300-acre country park adjacent to the River Crouch, offering scenic walks with fantastic views over the country park and the river. Great for walking, running, cycling dog walking and bird watching.

Surrounded on three sides by the River Crouch, Clements Green Creek and Fenn Creek, Marsh Farm Country Park is a great place for coastal walks and superb river views. Its 300 acres of grazing marsh offers ideal dog-walking and wildlife-spotting opportunities, as well as a chance to explore many scenic riverside paths.

The Country Park is recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its importance for overwintering dark bellied brent geese. It also provides an overwintering site for many species of waders and ducks in the autumn and winter, and several species breed here in the Spring including sedge warblers, cuckoos and sky larks, making it the perfect spot for year-round birdwatching.

The Country Park also supports a fantastic population of water voles, an endangered species that can sometimes be seen in the borrow dykes and ditches alongside the river.

Activities

Walking

Marsh Farm Country Park is a great place for solitude and contemplation. There are approximately 10 miles of public rights of way and permissive footpaths throughout the country park for you to enjoy.

The paths are mostly made up of grass or bare earth, but there are some surfaced footpaths, including 1 km of recently surfaced public right of way heading East from the riverside car park allowing easy access to the benches located along that section of sea wall.

From these sea wall vantage points, sailing boats make for a peaceful backdrop as they pass along the River Crouch. The Community Orchard is another great place to enjoy some quiet time, with beautiful blossom displays in spring.

Birdwatching and Wildlife

Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a RAMSAR site and a Special Protection Area (SPA), Marsh Farm Country Park is the ideal place for birdwatching all year round. Here you can see overwintering wetland birds, including brent geese, oyster catcher, redshank, pintail, avocet, golden plover and dunlin, to name but a few. The breeding season sees migrating birds coming in, such as reed and sedge warblers, and cuckoos, and skylarks breed in abundance on the grazing marsh.

Wildlife includes adders, grass snakes, damselflies and water voles.

The grassland is managed to help create unique habitat for rare and important coastal plants, such as sea barley, sea clover, sea lavender and grass vetchling.

For the best chance of spotting birds and wildlife, follow the paths marked on the Marsh Farm Country Park map.

Cycling

You can cycle at Marsh Farm Country Park. (Please note that pedestrians have right of way over cyclists).

Fishing

You can fish in the River Crouch, Fen Creek and Clements Green Creek from the sea wall. Please ensure that you comply with the regulations for recreational bass fishing. Fishing is not allowed in the ditches that run alongside the sea wall (borrow dykes).

Volunteering

Volunteers make a great contribution to maintaining the Country Park, as part of the wider efforts of the South Woodham Volunteers. Their activities include scrub clearance, cutting and burning blackthorn, taking out old stock fences and installing new fences, maintaining the community orchard, litter picking, and surveying water voles. We provide training, tools, gloves, and safety glasses if needed, and when we take a break you can enjoy free tea, coffee, cakes, and the occasional BBQ!

To get involved in volunteering and find out about times and dates, call the ranger, Rob Haworth on 01245 222350 or email rob.haworth@essex.gov.uk.

Facilities

Parking

Parking at Marsh Farm Country Park is free, and there is a large car park. The car park is located on the right by the river at the very end of Marsh Farm Road.

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