The Noak Bridge Nature Reserve consists of 20 acres of mixed grassland, scrub, developing woodland and small ponds stretching along the northern side of the A127 (Southend Road) with Noak Bridge village to the west. The main entrance is at the south end of Eastfield Road, off Wash Road, south of Barleylands (see map). It is easily accessible and provides the local community with a unique facility for peaceful recreation and education.
Within this small reserve there are a number of distinct habitats. Open, grassy rides contrast with scrubby thickets and young woodland. Some large oak, ash, and cultivated fruit trees give an indication of its past history as an area of plotland carved from old woodland and hedgerow. The presence of the rare wild service trees also links it with this established, even ancient area.
Butterflies and other insects thrive on the wide variety of flowers and grasses, and several species of dragonflies and damselflies can be found by the five permanent and two temporary ponds. An open drainage channel flows along the northern edge of the eastern side of the Reserve, and a ditch containing water most of the year crosses the Reserve north-south. There is also a small marchy area on the eastern edge. These wet places attract a wide range of creatures, from whirligig beetles swimming on the surface and frogs and newts in the depths, to jays and woodpeckers that come down to drink.
Wild Service Tree
The grassland contains extensive areas of common plants, including tufted vetch, goats rue, michaelmas daisy, oxeye daisy and rosebay willow herb.
The ponds and damp ditches provide suitable aquatic habit for reedmace, yellow flag iris and greater spearwort. A varied aquatic invertebrate fauna flourishes in the ponds, and adds to the high invertebrate richness of the site. Great crested newts and grass snakes are also present.
The site is predominantly hawthorn scrub which provides nesting for birds such as blackcap, white throat and chiffchaff.
Most of the developing woodland on site is oak with blackthorn, hawthorn and bramble mixed throughout. The woodland developing at the southern end of the site, contain a rich mix of mainly native species, recently planted.
The Noak Bridge Nature Reserve Society has installed bird nesting boxes and bat boxes in remote areas of the reserve and has taken an active role in developing and maintaining the Reserve and its facilities. There are two nature trails accommodating wheelchairs, and rustic seating is provided. A notice board at the Eastfield Road entrance provides information on the Society and details of Basildon Countryside Services events and local activities. New members are welcomed, and all households in the area are encouraged to join - see the membership section on the Society page for details. The Society also maintains an open discussion group on its Facebook page.
rangers assigned to the Noak Bridge Nature ReserveBasildon District Council Counryside Services rangers -
newspaper articles(images open in a new window)
Basildon Recorder - 2 Mar 2012 - Memorial Seat for our Betty
Echo - 24 Feb 2012 - Betty's Memorial Bench
Yellow Advertiser - 23 Feb 2012 - Big clean up at nature reserve
Yellow Advertiser - 13 Jan 2011 - Get back to nature - online article
Gazette - 24 Nov 2010 - 11th-hour rescure - online article
Gazette - 24 Nov 2010 - New team... wildlife haven - online article
Total Essex - 26 Sep 2008 - Bee Chambers Work Party
Basildon Recorder - 29 Aug 2008 - Bee Chambers Work Party
Bill Weekly News - 28 Aug 2008 - Bee Chambers Work Party
Bas Evening Echo - 22 Aug 2008 - Bee Chambers Work Party
Yellow Advertiser - 29 May 2008 - Bee Chambers Work Party
Step Ahead - Aug 2004 - Noak Bridge
Bill & Wickford Gaz - 15 Aug 2007 - Crickets and Dragonflies Event
Pitsea Marshes Trust News - 1 Jul 2001 - access trails
Yellow Advertiser - 7 Jun 2001 - Open Day