Doggy do’s (and don’ts) at Wat Tyler

Wat Tyler's free parking and all weather perimeter path make it very popular with dog walkers. Our other visitors are very happy to share the nature reserve with dogs that are properly looked after during their visit.

If you're going to bring your dog for a walk at Wat Tyler, you should be aware that it's an official Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). If you're not aware of that, you could easily be breaking the law if you don’t follow the rules for walking dogs on the SSSI

Dogs must be kept on leads

So why is Wat Tyler an SSSI?

A rare mix of habitats

  • The fantastic mix at Wat Tyler includes the largest reedbed in South Essex and supports a huge mix of rare and important plants and animal species

Rare creatures

  • Wat Tyler is home to an outstanding range of rare damselflies, dragonflies, moths, flies, beetles and more
  • The ponds are home to the scarce emerald damselfly
  • Roesel's bush-cricket
  • The moths rosy wave, mathew's wainscot and star-wort

Rare birds

  • Breeding birds include large populations of reed and sedge warblers and nightingales
  • Feeding and roosting yellow wagtails
  • The only site in Essex that Cetti's warblers have been known to breed in
  • The site also supports little grebes, coots, moorhens, skylarks, corn buntings, waders – especially snipe, wildfowl, long-eared owls, and migrant redwings and fieldfares



And what does that mean for dog walkers?

It means there's lots of wildlife that your dog could interfere with, so there's a few important do’s and don’ts you need to follow.

Dogs on leads, please

  • If your dog roams free it can disturb ground nesting birds
  • Dogs may chase and frighten rabbits, squirrels and birds

Keep dogs out of the water

  • Wat Tyler's ponds and streams are home to lots of rare and important creatures. Dogs can easily damage these habitats.
  • Dogs can easily spread and pick up infections in water

Keep to the paths

  • Dog urine and faeces can stop plants growing that creatures feed on
  • The more sensitive habitats are further way from the paths
  • Dogs (except guide dogs) are not allowed in the play areas, the Wat Tyler Centre or the Green Centre

Clear up any mess

  • Dog urine and faeces are nasty to smell or to step in. They can spread infection. Please pick up your dog's mess, bag it and bin it. 
  • Make sure your dog is wormed regularly to keep it healthy and to reduce the chance of infecting children. 

Thank you!