Mardyke Valley


The Mardyke Valley has a wide variety of wildlife.

The river provides an ideal habitat for water vole and kingfishers and is home to moorhens, Little Grebes, Dabchicks and many other visiting birds.

Horses and cattle graze the fields alongside the Mardyke helping to maintain the meadows by preventing fast growing plants from establishing. The animals also trample the ground providing gaps for seeds to grow, resulting in a greater variety of grass and plants.

Glow worms provide a tiny speck of yellow-green light in the grass and undergrowth. Glow worms are not worms but beetles and they may be spotted during evening strolls in summer.

Marsh frogs should live in marshes in Europe, but have now made their home in the ponds and river. Also present are Rose-ringed Parakeets. These are easily identified by their bright green colour, long tails and squawking voice.

Prehistoric animals

During the construction of the new A13 road the skeleton of a Jungle Cat was found by archaeologists, but the most famous discovery was that of the Aveley Elephants. A mammoth and a Straight-tusked Elephant were found in a pit on Sandy Lane in 1964. Although they lived during different times, they died in the same location and their skeletons were found together. They are now residents of the Natural History Museum.