Region: South East
This fascinating marsh land is full of amazing wildlife and offers a gateway to a significant network of open spaces.
The marshes attract breeding avocets, common terns, little ringed plovers and redshanks. After only a few years of management the presence of marsh harriers at the marsh is a testament to a thriving ecosystem.
Although only 4.5 hectares in size, the marshes opens up a gateway to a flourishing green space network which includes Wat Tyler Country Park.
Vange Marsh, Basildon, SS16 4SP
Site size: 5 hectares
Open all year round
Free entry although donations to RSPB are always welcome
Accessed via uneven concrete/grass public footpath only. Width restrictions: path 960 mm; gate with 1040 mm and railway barriers with 560 mm clear opening. Railway track crossing without safety signal All paths grass, with little change in gradient but uneven in some areas, and variable in width. Can become wet and muddy Metal kissing gate with clear opening of 990 mm (39 inches) at reserve entrance Path leading to the saline lagoon 350 m (1148 ft). 1 m (3 ft) at its narrowest point. Crosses 720 mm wide wooden bridge with handrail on one side Public footpath 900 m. Runs length of reserve. Second exit with kissing gate to footpath 136 with clear opening of 1090 mm (43 inches) Permissive footpath running along reserve boundary 650 m. Can be combined with public footpath to make 1.5km (1 mile) circular route Footpath along the sea wall on the south west of reserve 250 m (820 ft). Accessed by a two-step stile
Registered assistance dogs are welcome
Wat Tyler Country Park
Vange Marsh North is a previously undeveloped 5 hectare site in South Essex consisting of areas of grassland, reedbed and drainage ditches. A partnership led by the Trust met with The Homes and Communities Agency (then English Partnerships) in June 2006 to discuss transferring freehold of the site to the Trust with a dowry to manage and maintain the marsh. This meeting was held in response to HCA considering putting the land up for auction.
It was agreed that Trust would produce a business case to assess options for transfer. The business case showed that from a technical point of view Vange Marsh North is essential for the effective and sustainable hydrological management of the South Essex Marshes, maintaining an important buffer zone between the wetland reserve and the public. The reserve provides additional protected space for wildlife and an accessible green space for residents of nearby Basildon.
The site is situated between open space and the built environment so by opening up the marsh a vital gateway into the wider open space network was created. Although at 5 hectares the land is relatively small in size its value to the local area is very significant. This is why the Homes and Communities Agency choose to provide finance to enhance the open space rather than sell the land on the open market. The marshes are being now being managed sustainably long term through an endowment also provided by the Homes and Communities Agency to the Land Trust.
Even a small site such as Vange with a relatively modest endowment can provide added value to the local community. The RSPB run activities for the local community which benefit health, education and social cohesion as well as providing volunteering opportunities.
To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Estates Manager Lauren Hull or call 07500 578476.
To enquire about holding an event on a Land Trust site, please click here.
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