Picture of a wooden shipwreck in the foreground and Burnham-on-Crouch in the background.

Wallasea Island, Britain's largest wild coast project

The Discovery Coast's wildest shores are closer than you think. The lonely saltmarshes, tidal inlets and estuarine islands are a wild and ever-changing place where the natural world rules. RSPB Wallasea Island is just north of Southend and to the south of Burnham-on-Crouch. Escape the traffic, the crowds and the landmarks of civilisation to a historic landscape of brown hares and sea lavender. Experience the big skies, exciting wildlife and help give nature a home.

Picture of two seals, a mother and a cub looking out to sea.

Be amazed by the wilderness

Over the next few years, the RSPB will be turning back the pages of time in a landmark conservation project on a scale never seen before, gradually returning the land to the mosaic of mudflats and saltmarsh not seen for hundreds of years on this island. This won't be just for wildlife - new paths will allow explorers to discover the coast for themselves, breath in deeply the sea air and listen to the whisper of tides and call of wild birds.

Throughout the development of this exciting new nature reserve, there will be special events and activities showing the progess of the project. But you can come along any day and stroll along the northern seawall to experience the vast skies and wide open space of this wild land. In spring and autumn, watch out for migrant birds passing overhead or the emerging wild flowers at your feet. Summer is a time of gentle breezes, butterflies and the call of skylarks over marshes ablaze with sea lavender, while in contrast winter's bleak skies welcome large flocks of brent geese and over-wintering waterfowl travelling from afar in search of food and rest on our coast.

Over the next few years, the RSPB will be turning back the pages of time in a landmark conservation project gradually returning the land to the mosaic of mudflats and saltmarsh not seen for hundreds of years on this island. This won't be just for wildlife - new paths will allow explorers to discover the coast for themselves, breath in deeply the sea air and listen to the whisper of tides and call of wild birds. 

Seasonal highlights

Spring

Picture of a lovely looking flying Oystercatcher.
Nature comes alive, bringing the return of breeding waders. Look out for noisy oystercatchers, the aerial display of redshanks and hunting raptors. Scan the land for a glimpse of one of our rare brown hares nibbling herbs.

Summer

Picture of a brown and cream coloured butterfly sitting on a purple flower.
Look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Experience the marshes ablaze with colour as saltmarsh flora competes to attract insects. Butterflies are regular visitors on warm days; they like the sea lavender.

Autumn

Picture of a flock of avocets walking along the sea shore.
Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds, some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. Look out for avocets, dunlins, greenshanks, curlews and redshanks.

Winter

Picture of a merlin sticking his head out of a grassy area.
In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm. Birds of prey feed here in winter. Look out for peregrines, marsh harriers, brent geese and merlins.