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Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve



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The rare reed beds at Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve are the largest in the South East. Birds such as bearded reedlings and bitterns are completely dependent on the reed beds; 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 at Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve 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. For further information visit:


On foot - Stodmarsh is on the path of the Stour Valley Walk.

By cycle - Stodmarsh is on Route 1 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

By train - The nearest station is Sturry, 5km to the south west.

By bus - Regular bus services along the A28 from Sturry to Upstreet are provided by Stagecoach East Kent.

By car - The reserve car park is east of Stodmarsh village, located along the turn off between the Red Lion pub and the church. This car parking is free. There is additional pay and display parking by the Grove Ferry Pub (CT3 4BP) which can be found on Grove Road, south east of Upstreet.

Prices and opening

Free entry