Surrounded on three sides by the River Crouch, Clementsgreen and Fenn Creeks, 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 a home for many species of waders and ducks in the autumn and winter, and a number of birds breed here in the Spring – including sedge warblers, cuckoos and sky larks – making it the perfect spot for year-round birdwatching.
The Country Park supports a fantastic population of water voles, an endangered species that can sometimes be seen in the borrow dykes and ditches alongside the river.
8am to dusk
Marsh Farm Country Park
Marsh Farm Road
South Woodham Ferrers
Green Flag Award: No
Never crowded, Marsh Farm Country Park is a great place for solitude and contemplation. Walking the park’s full perimeter traverses nearly 6 miles or 9 km.
Clearly marked, grassy paths crossing the flat landscape of the marshes make the site accessible for all ages and many levels of mobility.
Along the seawall, 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.
A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its rare plants and hundreds of bird species, Marsh Farm Country Park is the ideal place for birdwatching all year round. Here you can see migrating and wading birds, including brent geese, oyster catcher, redshank, pintail, avocet, golden plover and sand martin. Wildlife includes grass snakes, damselflies and water vole.
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 – PDF, 781KB.
You can now cycle at Marsh Farm Country Park, following the designated paths and giving way to pedestrians.
You can fish in the River Crouch from the sea wall. Fishing is not allowed in the borrow dykes – ditches that run alongside the sea wall.
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, collecting litter and surveying water vole. We provide training, tools, gloves and safety glasses if needed, and when we take a break you can enjoy free tea, coffee and often, homemade cake!
You can also volunteer in the Country Park’s Community Orchard, planting, pruning and cutting grass and hedges. Volunteers can also take advantage of our annual course in fruit tree pruning.
We also take students doing the National Diploma in Countryside Management on work placements.
To get involved in volunteering and find out about times and dates, call the ranger, Rob Haworth on 01245 222350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parking at Marsh Farm is free, and there is a large car park.
There are public toilets at the entrance to Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, including disabled and baby changing facilities.
You can visit Tillie’s Tea Room without paying entry to the Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park. The large, vintage-styled tea room is open daily 10am to 5pm. Tillie’s extensive menu includes traditional and continental breakfasts, soup, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, sausages and mash, cream teas and children’s meals.
Our outdoor learning team runs curriculum-linked activity days across all Essex’s country parks, designed to release children’s imagination and encourage creativity. Find out more about educational activities at the park.