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Oare Marshes Reserve

Oare Marshes Nature Reserve is located on the south bank of The Swale at Harty Ferry. The well-sheltered marshland and mudflats of Oare Marshes provide a superb habitat and attract many migrating birds.

Oare Marshes Nature Reserve

Oare Marshes Nature Reserve

The reserve, managed by Kent Wildlife Trust, consists of some 170 acres of grazing marsh, dissected by fresh and brackish water dykes and bounded by an earth seawall and some salt marsh.

The reserve is of international importance for migratory, overwintering and breeding wetland birds. Suitable habitat is achieved through manipulation of water levels and livestock grazing.

The reserve supports an exciting and diverse range of birds. Among breeding species found are avocet, redshank, snipe, lapwing, water rail, bearded reedling, common tern and garganey.
Migrating species - black-tailed godwit, ruff, little stint, curlew sandpiper and whimbrel.
Overwintering - Brent goose, dunlin, curlew, wigeon, merlin, hen harrier, short-eared owl, bittern and twite


Map of Oare Marshes Nature Reserve


Map of Oare Marshes Nature Reserve

How to find Oare Marshes Nature Reserve

From Faversham, go through the village of Oare and turn right to Harty Ferry at the ‘Three Mariners’ pub. Continue to the south bank of the Swale estuary and park opposite the Watch House.


Car parking is provided opposite the Watch House, near the sea wall at the end of the Harty Ferry Road.

Access is restricted to the public footpath and nature trail to minimise disturbance to roosting, feeding and breeding birds.

The whole reserve may be observed from the nature trail and viewing hides.

Visitors are asked to avoid disturbing nesting, feeding and roosting birds by keeping to the footpath along the seawall and, in the interests of wildlife and livestock, to keep dogs on a lead.

For those confined to a car or wheelchair, there is good viewing from the road itself, especially over the east flood.

There is a disabled-only car park 300m from the hide overlooking the east flood and the hide itself is also now accessible to disabled visitors.