Image of Tiptree Heath

The information below just gives a brief summary of the heath and possible activities.

Please check the Tiptree Heath Website for more information, exact timings and changes of programme.


Tiptree Heath Website

Essex Wildlife Trust Website

Tiptree Heath is a 25 hectare (61 acres) area of beautiful privately owned common land situated on the edge of the village by the side of the Maldon Road. It is a rare protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its three species of heather and its diversity of habitats comprising heather heathland, bracken, gorse and surrounding scrub and woodland. It is Tiptree’s local open space and amenity, and is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust and a charity called the Friends of Tiptree Heath.

For most of the year, you can see Exmoor ponies grazing inside one of two fenced compartments, which are also separated by a stream, which heads off from the heath across Wilkin farmland to end up at Abberton Reservoir. When you visit, please read carefully the notices explaining how to behave around the ponies since they are semi-feral wild animals.

The local community makes use of the heath in many different ways.

  • It is a good place for walking the dog, as long as you keep your dog under control and clear up after it. Riders exercise their horses there also.

  • There are weekly led Health Walks on a Wednesday morning, starting from the car park at 10.30am, lasting for up to an hour and finishing with a coffee at The Ship along the road.

  • Between April and November there are Wildlife Walks guided by experts on different themes, the first one being the Dawn Chorus walk at the end of April and the last being a Fungus Foray at the end of October.

  • During the summer school holidays, there are children’s activity events on offer.

  • One local primary school runs a ‘Forest School’ in a secluded part of the woods, and there are regular visits from local schools and colleges as part of their curriculum.

  • There is an Orienteering course, set up as a training course for orienteering clubs and at the same time good for youngsters to use. Maps are available from the warden.

  • Conservation work parties (‘green gyms’) take place each month on winter Sunday mornings, and also regularly throughout the year on a Tuesday afternoon.

Lots more information is available from the heath website (above right) and from the Essex Wildlife Trust website.

The Heath has many different users - and the conservation volunteers, with the working parties during the week and weekends, help maintain the Heath for everyone. It has a very long history and variety of usage. The site was ploughed during WWII and since then, the heath has had a more open character, as remembered by older members of the surrounding community. Rights of way: There are no public rights of way on the common, but there is open access throughout the Heath, and some are more heavily used than others, with people generally keeping to the paths and open areas, avoiding the dense scrub and bracken.

Horse Riders and Dogs: There are a number of bridle paths provided for horse riders. The Tiptree Equestrian Centre (TEC) has worked with the Heath Management and strongly advises that horse riders do not canter or gallop on the Heath, making control by the rider difficult. This could provoke a dangerous situation in the presence of walkers and dogs. Likewise, dog owners must ensure that they are in control of their animals, and when there are riders on the Heath it is advised that dogs be on leads. This way everyone can enjoy their time on the Heath.