Two Tree Island, Leigh-on-Sea

Two Tree Island, Leigh-on-Sea

Description


Two Tree Island is a 630 acre reserve situated off Leigh on Sea and is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust. It is designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and a National Nature Reserve.

In addition to a large area of salt marsh/mudflat its variety of habitats, including mixed scrub, rough grassland, reedbed and fresh water and saline lagoons ensure that it features a wide variety of species throughout the year.

 

Notable Species


All Year

Little Grebe

Grey Heron

Little Egret

Shellduck

Sparrowhawk

Kestrel

Peregrine

Water Rail

Avocet

Redshank

Oystercatcher

Ringed Plover

Green Woodpecker

Reed Bunting

Linnet

Cetti’s Warbler

Song Thrush


Spring

Nightingale

Chiffchaff

Willow Warbler

Blackcap

Common Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Sedge Warbler

Reed Warbler

Common Swift

Barn Swallow

Cuckoo


Summer

Nightingale

Chiffchaff

Willow Warbler

Blackcap

Common Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Sedge Warbler

Reed Warbler

Common Swift

Barn Swallow

Cuckoo


Autumn

Greenshank

Grey Plover

Golden Plover

Knot

Dunlin

Whimbrel

Curlew

Little Stint

Curlew Sandpiper

Bar-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Teal

Wigeon

Dark-bellied Brent Goose

Wheatear


Winter

Greenshank

Grey Plover

Golden Plover

Knot

Dunlin

Whimbrel

Curlew

Little Stint

Curlew Sandpiper

Bar-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Teal

Wigeon

Dark-bellied Brent Goose

Redwing

Fieldfare

Kingfisher

Short-eared Owl


Past rarities include

Red-backed Shrike

Night Heron

Cattle Egret

Access Details


From the car park beside the bridge

East side

This 1.6km (1 mile) walk takes you through rough grassland and mixed scrub, past fresh water lagoons and reedbed to the eastern tip of the island with its views across the saltmarsh and mudflats to the Thames Estuary beyond. Return by the same path or via the sea wall with the brackish borrow dyke on one side and the saltmarsh on the other (note that there are steps at the western end of the sea wall). There are two hides one overlooking the freshwater lagoon and reedbed and the other overlooking the Egret pools. The paths are unsurfaced and become muddy after rain.

West side

This 2.4km (1.5 mile) circular trail leads through rough grassland, overlooking a creek and saltmarsh on both its northern and southern sides. A spur at the western end leads to two wheelchair accessible hides, one looking out over the saltmarsh and creek to Canvey Island, the other overlooking the saline lagoon with views of Hadleigh Castle beyond. The paths are hard surfaced, the northern side of the loop has two slopes of 20% gradient. A grass path also runs west from the northern side of the main path to the lagoon hide which becomes muddy after rain.

From the southern car park beside the slipway

Both the east and west side trails above can be joined from this car park but are not suitable for wheelchair access. However, the car park affords views over the saltmarsh, creek and River Thames beyond.

 

Map