Elmley Marshes Reserve

Elmley Marshes Reserve


Elmley Marshes Reserve lies in the south-west corner of the Isle of Sheppey in the area known as the North Kent Marshes.

Elmley Marshes Reserve lies in the south-west corner of the Isle of Sheppey in the area known as the North Kent Marshes. The reserve consists of 3,300 acres of rough, damp grazing pasture intersected by meandering 'fleets' and ditches and bordered by the saltmarsh and tidal mud­flats of the Swale Estuary as well as some arable farmland. Wild and remote, this is one of the finest examples of coastal grazing marsh in this country and the largest remaining area of this habitat in south-east England.

In winter, thousands of wildfowl flock to the marshes and waders from the Swale use the reserve as a safe roost. In summer, redshanks, lapwings and avocets breed. The area is probably the best place in southern England to see birds of prey. Marsh harriers breed here, peregrines can be seen year round and, in winter, there are hen harriers, merlins and short-eared owls. Watch elegant avocets 'scooping up' microscopic, aquatic life in their amazing, sickle shaped beaks. Look for marsh harriers gliding over the reeds with their wings held upwards in a shallow 'v'.


There are five hides. The first hide is part of a 3 mile (5 km) round trip from the car park.

There are two nature trails. One is a 6 mile (9.5 km) round trip to the furthest hide, the other a 2 mile (3 km) walk visiting two hides.


Opening times

Open daily (closed Tuesdays) 9 am to 9 pm or sunset when earlier.


Admission charges

There are no fixed entrance fees. However, suggested donations for non-members of £2.50 adults, 50p child, £1.50 concession, and £4.50 for a family, are gratefully received to help maintain the reserve.



Car park: There are no cycle racks.


Guided walks available

Remote location

Good for walking

Pushchair friendly

No dogs allowed, except registered assistance dogs.


By road

From junction 5 on the M2, follow the A249 to Sheerness. Instead of taking the new bridge onto Sheppey, take the slip road signed for Iwade. Bear right and to go on to the island via the old bridge. On the Isle of Sheppey, after 1.25 miles (2 km), turn right following RSPB sign. Follow the rough track for approximately 2 miles (3 km) to the carpark at Kingshill Farm.


Tel: 01795 665969


Email : northkentmarshes@rspb.org.uk



Disclaimer: The information on this leisure activity was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above leisure activity should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015