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5 great winter walks at Essex Wildlife Trust reserves

PUBLISHED: 13:56 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 05 December 2019

Abberton Reservoir (c) John Bugg, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Abberton Reservoir (c) John Bugg, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Wrap up warm, put on your wellies and chase away the winter blues by exploring some of Essex Wildlife Trust's top walking destinations this winter

1) Blue House Farm, CM3 6GU

See what wildlife you can spot in the three bird hides found along the permissive path.

Look out for Golden Plover, Dunlin and Teal whilst listening out for the noisy flocks of up to 2,000 wintering Dark-bellied Brent Geese, the main attraction of this site during winter.

2) Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, SS17 0RN

Overlooking the mighty Thames Estuary, this is where you can observe internationally important numbers of Ringed Plover and Avocets at high tide.

Keep your eyes peeled for hunting Short-eared Owls too. Explore three colour-coded trails that take you around this wonderful site then finish at the centre for a warm cup of tea or some hot food.

3) Fingringhoe Wick, CO5 7DN

Numerous reserve trails lead you through the different habitats that this reserve has to offer as you can discover woodland, scrub, heathland, ponds and the Colne Estuary.

Visit the Margaret Hide for wonderful views over the intertidal area. Wheelchairs and all-terrain mobility scooters are available on request.

4) Gernon Bushes, CM16 7RW

This magical pocket of ancient woodland has Hornbeam pollards and a network of ponds.

Follow the paths to the north of the reserve where the old gravel sites have been transformed into a series of plant rich bogs before circling round to the south of the reserve.

5) Abberton Reservoir, CO2 0EU

Winter sees exciting visitors including Smew and Goldeneye at this wetland site of international importance for wildfowl.

Take the circular path to the two bird hides and back to the centre. The Brambly Hedge Trail is also located here, a great activity to enjoy with your children.

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