Chigwell Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve, Grange Farm Centre, Grange Farm Lane, Chigwell Essex IG7 6DP is maybe not what you expect of Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford. The Chigwell Meadows is the largest remaining species-rich water meadow in Essex with its famous display of wildflowers and a mosaic of herb-rich habitats, hedgerows, marsh, ponds, scrub and woodland, and an array of wildflowers. Take a look at OS Map Reference TQ429942.
The great thing about Chigwell, Loughton and Woodford is that they are so close to the City of London but have so much easy access to the great outdoors at the same time. The 65 hectares of Chigwell Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve can be easily accessed and there are two main car parks, one next to the reserve office at the Grange Farm Pavilion off the High Road, Chigwell and one next to the David Lloyd Centre off Roding Lane, Chigwell, IG7 6BQ.
There is a range of footpaths and there are some wheelchair friendly paths through and around the reserve, which you can access from the Roding Valley Recreation Ground via entrances on the Loughton side of the river. There is also access from the Chigwell side via a footbridge over the M11 at the end of Grange Farm Lane.
Along the river and throughout the Chigwell meadows Butterflies, Dragonflies and a wide array of invertebrates can be found soaring over the river and climbing through the grass. Many Butterflies and Dragonflies flourish in the fast-declining habitats that are found on the reserve. There are lots of birds feeding on the invertebrates to listen out for, the Thrush, Blackcap and Whitethroat as well as flocks of Tits and Finches that feed in the reserve while Kestrels hunt over the grasslands and Kingfishers keeping a close eye over the water.