Orchards East Project launch in Essex

Orchards East logo

Orchards East is a Heritage Lottery funded project across the East of England, aimed at mapping old orchards, identifying old fruit varieties, and restoring and recreating orchards by working with local communities. The project launches in Essex in March 2018, details of the launch event are attached.

The first phase of the project involved mapping historic orchard sites from the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey maps of the early 20th Century. In collaboration with other Records Centres in the East of England region Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre has been involved in this initial mapping phase, which identified over 4,000 historic orchard sites in Essex alone. Follow up surveys will be conducted in 2018, you can find out how to get involved in surveys at the Essex Wildlife Trust Volunteer Open Day in February.

To book a place at the Orchards East Essex Launch  please contact Gen Broad, For more information about the project please visit the Orchards East website:



Coastal Warden Water Quality Training 2018

The Essex Coast at Mersea. Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust

The Essex Wildlife Trust Coastal Wardens programme has announced new trainig dates for 2018.  For more details on any of the events please contact

Help safeguard your coastline.

Our amazing volunteer Coastal Wardens have been collecting water quality data for almost a year now - but we need your help!  We want to monitor as much of the 350 miles of Essex coastline as possible to identify potential leakages and excessive inputs of nutrients into our already vulnerable coastal habitats. 

We are therefore excited to announce our 2018 water quality training sessions:

These sessions will provide you with training and the opportunity to practice with the equipment before you use it in the field (spaces are limited, so don’t miss out!).  We ask that Coastal Wardens submit readings on a monthly basis so we can build up a good picture of trends throughout the year. 

Interested? Click on the links above for extra information and get in touch with the Coastal Wardens Team by emailing and let us know where you may be able to monitor.

Coastal Wardens is part of Essex Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas project.  More opportunities to get involved with coastal activities will be advertised shortly – watch this space!


Birdwatching Courses in early 2018 - booking open!

Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust

Essex Wildlife Trust is running two adult courses on Birdwatching in early 2018. Details are below, to book a place on either course please call 01621 862960 or email


Course details:


The first part of the morning will be a classroom session at Abbotts Hall Farm looking at gull identification, followed by a short drive to Layer Breton Causeway at Abberton Reservoir to put the theory into practice.  After lunch we will head back to Abbotts Hall Farm, we’ll then drive to West Mersea in search of more gulls! Led by Liz Huxley at Abbotts Hall Farm & Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre.

Date: Wedneday 21st February

Time: 10am - 4pm

Venue: Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough & Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

donation £30 per person.



The first part of the morning will be a classroom session at Abbotts Hall Farm looking at topics as varied as choosing binoculars and telescopes, when and where to look for birds, fieldcraft skills and bird identification, followed by a short walk to the Wetland Hide to put the theory into practice.  After lunch we’ll take a longer walk around the farm in search of more birds. Led by Liz Huxley at Abbotts Hall Farm.

Date: Wedneday 14th March

Time: 10am - 4pm

Venue: Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough

donation £30 per person.

Open Day for New Volunteers - Get involved with surveys for Essex Wildlife Trust!

Volunteer Training at Stow Maries Aerodrome. Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust.

Interested in getting involved with the work of Essex Wildlife Trust? Do you want to get oudoors, learn new skills and help protect wildlife? Then come along to the Essex Wildlife Trust New Volunteers Open Day on Saturday 24th February 2018!

Essex Wildlife Trust runs a number of surveys and volunteer monitoring schemes, including the award winning River Wardens scheme. We are looking to recruit new volunteers to help with surveys across Essex, on a variety of different subjects. If you are keen to get involved but do not know where to start, this is an ideal opportunity to come along and find out about the surveys we run, and to chat to staff about how you can get involved. Find out about projects that are running in 2018 and sign up on the day for our training courses and monitoring programmes.

The event will be held at Writtle College, Chelmsford and is open to anyone who is interested in getting involved. Booking is essential as space is limited, so if you would like to attend please contact Tiffany Rogerson, or on 01621 862960. Further details will be circulated in early 2018, please keep an eye on our website for details.


Adult Course - Trees in Winter

Abbotts Hall Farm in Winter. Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust

Spaces are available on the Essex Wildlife Trust adult course Trees in Winter - book now to secure your place by calling 01621 862960 or emailing

The course will take a practical look at tree identification at a difficult time of the year. It will focus on native and non-native trees that are likely to be found in the woodlands and hedgerows of Essex and will explain how we identify trees using a combination of clues such as buds, bark, tree height and location. Simple identification keys will also be discussed.

The course is aimed at those with little or no experience of native tree identification but should also appeal to those with some knowledge of the subject. Led by Bill Godsafe.

Date: 17th January 2018

Time: 10:00am-4:00pm

Venue: Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre

Requested donation £30 per person.