Crossness Nature Reserve - Belvedere, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member OrientGeo
N 51° 30.155 E 000° 08.984
31U E 302184 N 5709568
Quick Description: A preserved area of grazing marsh, reedbed, wetlands and river foreshore in an otherwise predominantly urban and industrial area of London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/3/2021 12:24:59 PM
Waymark Code: WM13KYT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bear and Ragged
Views: 10

Long Description:
Crossness Nature Reserve is a surviving fragment of formerly much more extensive riverside grazing marsh habitat in the London Borough of Bexley. Around 50 acres of the North Marsh are protected in the Nature Reserve, which is notable for populations of wetland birds, plants and invertebrates. There are three uncovered observation hides on the reserve that are open to the general public, another facing towards the River Thames, plus a private hide in a restricted area available to members of the Friends Group only. The reserve is managed by Thames Water. No dedicated car parking is available and the reserve is best approached on foot along the river wall from Thamesmead, or along Norman Road from Belvedere Railway Station. If it is neccessary to drive, see website link for parking advice. The coordinates given are for the main observation hide, which is close to the information board.

Ornithological interest:

The London Bird Club lists the ornithological interest as follows:


More than 130 species of bird have been recorded at Crossness Nature Reserve.

The Great Breach Lagoon attracts good numbers of wintering wildfowl, including Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall and Shoveler, in addition to typical species such as Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Grey Heron and Little Grebe. The wet meadow provides a high tide roost for impressive numbers of Lapwing, Dunlin and Redshank, and the ditches attract Little Egret. In October 2017 the site had a long-awaited first visit from a Great White Egret. At low tide, the mud flats of Halfway Reach Bay, which can be viewed from the sea wall, provide feeding grounds for huge numbers of wetland birds.

Little Ringed Plover have successfully bred on the shingle island. The wader scrape attracts Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank and Snipe. Other waders that have been recorded on the reserve include Sanderling, Temminck’s Stint, Wood Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit.

The large reedbed (largest in the London Borough of Bexley) has breeding and a chance to view Water Rail, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Reed Bunting. The reserve is the only site within Greater London to support breeding Barn Owls.

Other species recorded at the site include Peregrine, Blue-headed Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Cetti’s Warbler, Marsh Warbler, London's first Great Reed Warbler in spring 2019, Dartford Warbler, Penduline Tit, Bearded Tit, Linnet, Stonechat, Whinchat, Black Redstart, Ring Ouzel, and Red-backed Shrike.


A variety of locally scarce habitats are present on the reserve. Most important of these are grazing marsh, reedbed and freshwater areas. The latter include a wader scrape, ponds, drainage channels and deep water lagoons. Small areas of scrub and hedgerow provide additional bird habitat. From the reserve an extensive area of tidal river and mudflats can be viewed. The outfall from the adjacent sewage works can attract very large numbers of waterbirds in the winter.
Park Name: Crossness Nature Reserve

Sponsoring Organization: Thames Water

Handicap Accessible?: No

Website: [Web Link]

Entrance Fee: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

List any Hides, Birding Towers, or other structures to assist in Birdwatching found at the location:
A total of five bird observation hides, although one is restricted to members only.

Parking Coordinates: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
A clear, original image is required to log a visit to a waymark in this category. The image must contain a bird at the site, a nest, or other evidence that visitors partook in the delight of birdwatching at this site. Please tell us about your experience with an identification of a bird or two that you've seen!
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Master Mariner visited Crossness Nature Reserve - Belvedere, London, UK 1/10/2021 Master Mariner visited it