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

Find & contact

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

01245 222350

country.parks@essex.gov.uk

Parking & prices

Free.

Visit the MiPermit portal page.

At this place

  • BBQs not allowed
  • Picnics allowed
  • Dogs allowed


The parks, car parks and toilets will be open to the public on 21 May, however the children’s play equipment and visitor centres will remain closed, in line with government guidance.

We are pleased to announce that Phoebe's Pantry, located at Marsh Farm Country Park, has reopened.

Introduction

Essex Country Parks – Reopening Update

Essex County Council are pleased to confirm the reopening of Essex Country Parks on Thursday 21 May.

This follows the easing of restrictions to outside space and safety measures being put into place to allow us to open in line with government guidance to help keep visitors and staff safe.

The parks, car parks and toilets will be open to the public, however children’s play equipment, visitor centres and cafes will remain closed.

Visitors will need to observe the current rules on social distancing, particularly in places that could become crowded such as the car parks and toilets.

Important changes to note before you visit:

Read our full statement and FAQs here.

A 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.

Eat & Drink

Refreshments are available from Phoebe’s Pantry, located in the Marsh Farm Country Park riverside car park. Usually open weekends, bank holidays and school holidays. Details can be found on the Phoebe’s Pantry Facebook page.

Toilets

Public toilets are located at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, adjacent to the entrance to the visitors’ centre.

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