A wetland oasis near the centre of Stafford and one of the country's best bird watching sites

Location

Doxey Marshes
Stafford
Staffordshire
ST16 1JR (nearest)
*Just off the A513, Eccleshall Road off Junction 14 on the M6
Stafford
ST16 1JR (nearest)
A static map of Doxey Marshes

Know before you go

Size
121 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Parking options: Park at Sainsbury's; park in the car park behind Focus on GreyFriar's Industrial Estate; park by the play park at the end fo Creswell Farm Drive/Wooton Drive

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

Flat surfaced paths cover most of the reserve, although access is occasionally reduced during periods of flooding. Please observe on-site instructions for the on-lead/off-lead zones across the reserve. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.

Access

Flat surfaced paths cover most of the reserve, although access is occasionally reduced during periods of flooding. 

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to May, September to December

About the reserve

Visitors to Doxey Marshes can get closer to wildlife following the installation of a host of new features during 2015:

Bird Hides 

Two new bird hides and a series of pond dipping platforms have been installed and degraded footpaths improved. See amazing bird life up close

Here are a few species to look out for from each bird hide - so grab your binoculars and get spotting!

  • The rectangular hide overlooking Tillington Flash:  Oystercatcher (spring); hobby (summer); shelduck (summer); goosander (autumn and winter); black tailed godwit (spring and autumn); great crested grebe (all year); little egret (all year). 
  • The octagonal hide overlooking the scrape: Redshank (spring); green sandpiper (spring and autumn); dunlin (spring and autumn); snipe (all year); lapwing (all year). 

Explore the underwater world

Pond-dipping is a great activity for all the family. You'll be amazed at the wonderful variety of tiny creatures that live in our ponds and lakes. For a guide to pond-dipping, download our Wildlife Watch Activity Sheet

A big thank you to ... The Doxey Marshes improvement project was funded through the Landfill Communities Fund, and the Trust also received a £4,000 grant from Stafford Borough Council, £1,000 from the CLA Charitable Trust and £1,000 from the W E DUNN Trust towards the work. The Trust's Stafford Local Group also donated £1,000 from the proceeds of their walks, talks and events.  

Wax rubbing trail:

Follow the circular trail around the centre of the reserve to find the numbered posts with rubbing plaques of some of the wildlife that lives here. Don't forget your crayons! Download your rubbing sheet at the bottom of this web page.

Take an early morning walk in spring to discover the magic of a wetland dawn chorus:

  • Look and listen for Lapwing performing their tumbling display flight over the pasture in Spring, whilst calling out 'pee-wit'
  • Keep an eye out for migrating birds as the reserve is well known for attracting lots of passage species and even the odd rarity!
  • Visit in the winter months to see large flocks of waterfowl including Wigeon and Teal Birds Galore!
Highlights 
  • Doxey Marshes is a fantastic place to discover birds with over 200 species recorded and over 80 breeding species.  
  • The reserve is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its nationally important populations of Lapwing, Snipe and Redshank. The reserve also attracts many rare birds every year, including the first ever Cattle Egret and River Warbler to be recorded in the Midlands region!  
Not Just Birds!

Although well known as a great bird watching location, Doxey Marshes is also home to regionally significant populations of Otter, Harvest Mouse and Water Shrew.  The reserve is also home to a vast array of wetland plants, including the biggest area of Reed-sweet Grass in the Midlands.  In Spring the pastures are carpeted with flowers such as Lady’s Smock, Buttercup and Ragged Robin.  

Water, water everywhere

The reserve forms part of the River Sow floodplain so is naturally a wet area and will occasionally flood.  Most of the large pools on the reserve, known locally as flashes, have formed as a result of subsidence from brine extraction in the 1950s.  These flashes are a great place to find many species of water bird including Tufted Duck, Goosander and Great Crested Grebe.  

Mud, Mud Glorious Mud

Across the reserve are numerous muddy depressions known as scrapes.  These were created to encourage wetland birds such as Lapwing and Redshank to breed, as well as providing feeding points for migrating birds

 A Living Landscape

This nature reserve is part of the Staffordshire Rivers Living Landscape

'Living Landscapes' is The Wildlife Trusts innovative approach to nature conservation and involves focusing our efforts on improving the wider landscape to make it better for wildlife.   

Contact us

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01889 880100

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
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Rubbing Sheet - pg 1

Rubbing sheet - pg 2