Parndon Wood Nature Reserve, run by ECCO, is an area of ancient woodland home to a huge range of birds, small mammals, deer, flora and fungi.
Location: Parndon Wood Road, Harlow CM19 4SF
Tel: 01279 430005
Recorded as a woodland for over 900 years, Parndon Wood is composed of a canopy of oak with coppiced hornbeam growing beneath.
The reserve is a Special Site for Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its variety of flora and has received a Green Flag Award, which recognises the best parks in the country, for the last ten years.
Visitors can follow the 1.5km trail, or simply explore the wood’s many tracks and paths. There are three observation hides, where you can wait quietly for a glimpse of a green woodpecker or Muntjac deer.
In the accessible Conservation Centre, learn about the local wildlife from the classroom full of woodland specimens, taxidermy and information posters.
Children can hire bug hunting kits, have fun in the den building area, hire binoculars and complete seasonal spotter sheets.
During school holidays, there are plenty of activity sessions for young people.
Parndon Wood has informal visits by schools, which offer demonstrations of woodland crafts, painting and woodcarving, supporting national curriculum studies.
Please note that dogs are welcome only in the café courtyard and must be kept on a lead at all times. Dogs are not allowed onto the woodland trail.
The wood and Conservation Centre are very popular for birthday parties. Packages are available and can be tailored to individual needs to include a range of activities for all occasions.
The 6 x 9m room in the Conservation Centre is available for private hire and is regularly used for environmental talks and other events.
You can become a volunteer for wildspaces and wardens helping to maintain the conservation areas and wild spaces of Harlow.