An internationally important wetland, protected for its reedbeds and other habitats and its rare wetland wildlife.

Key habitats:

Reedbeds, fen, grazing marsh, ditches, lakes, wet woodland.


Natural England


241 ha


National Nature Reserve
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Special Area of Conservation
Special Protection Area

Facilities available at this site

  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Disabled Access
  • Waymarked Trail
  • Bird Hides
  • Interpretation Panels
  • Education Pack

About the Site

Stodmarsh NNR covers a square mile of internationally-important reed beds, fens, ditches, wet grassland and open water, which provide an ideal habitat for breeding and wintering birds, invertebrates and rare plants. This site is especially important for marsh harriers, the shining ramshorn snail, and water voles.

Stodmarsh has the largest reed bed in the South East of England, which supports a range of specialised wildlife, including two wetlands specialist birds – the bittern and the bearded tit. You are most likely to see a bittern at Stodmarsh in January, when birds migrate here from Europe. You may also hear a male bittern’s distinctive ‘boom’ during their mating season, between April and June. This habitat is managed to make it attractive to wildlife by cutting reeds in rotation, controlling scrub and managing water levels.

On grazing marsh water levels are controlled to provide some surface flooding for the wintering and breeding birds that flock here. Local farmers graze cattle on the marsh, keeping the grass short and tussocky. Longer grass and sedges are maiontained in some areas for other species like snipe.






For access to the eastern end of the reserve, with good access via public transport, see visiting details for Grove Ferry, which is just across the road from Stodmarsh.

For access to the western (Stodmarsh village) end:

By car

There is also parking near Stodmarsh village: Head east out of Canterbury on the A257 and turn left onto Stodmarsh Road. Stay on this road until you come into Stodmarsh village. Just past the Red Lion pub, turn left onto a narrow lane that leads to the car park.


Stodmarsh Photo Gallery

Click images to view larger