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The rare reedbeds are the largest in the South East. Birds such as bearded reedlings and bitterns are completely dependant on the reedbeds; others, for example marsh harriers, make their nests there. Large flocks of swallows and sand martins migrate through in autumn and spring.
The wet grazing meadows and lagoons attract ducks such as mallards, shovelers and rare garganey ducks, and waders such as sandpipers. In winter more of the reserve floods and wigeons, teal and geese can be seen paddling away on the winter lakes.
Abundant fish life attracts fish-eating birds such as terns, grebes and kingfishers. There is also a wealth of insect life; you can see several species of dragonflies and moths. You might also spot water voles, weasels or even an otter.
There are car parks and toilets at Stodmarsh village (free) and Grove Ferry (where the car park has a fee). There are bird hides and an observation mound and interpretation panels linked by footpaths through the reserve. There also is a new easy access trail (suitable for wheelchairs and buggies apart from in rainy weather) which is signposted from the Stodmarsh car park and includes a multi-sensory trail.
Images © Dave Rogers, Natural England.
TR 236631 51.32303 1.20780
The reserve is on the Great Stour river south of, and almost immediately adjacent to, the A28, midway between Canterbury and Margate. The nearest villages are Upstreet on the A28, and Stodmarsh, 1 km to the south. The nearest car park is in Stodmarsh. By car, the village is accessed via minor roads from the A28 and A257.
The nearest train station is in Sturry, 5 km to the south west, served by South Eastern. Take the no. 9 or no. 8 bus from Sturry station (or from Canterbury or in the other direction from Ramsgate / Margate) and get off at either Upstreet or Grove Ferry Road. For additional details of bus services in the area go to the Kent County Council website.
Stodmarsh is on the path of the Stour Valley Walk and on Route 1 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.
: 3 miles from Sturry station