Ray Island is not accessible to visitors on foot. There are no public footpaths across the island, some of which (Bonner’s Saltings) is privately owned. If accessing from the river, please be aware this is a conservation area, and we ask that you’re sensitive to the wildlife that calls the island home. Sorry no dogs or camping.
This rare habitat is home to plants including lax-flowered sea-lavender and golden samphire, which add splashes of colour throughout the summer.
Ray Island is a breeding site for water birds including the orange-billed oystercatcher and the strikingly-patterned shelduck.
Ray Island sits within the Blackwater Estuary in Essex, just west of Mersea Island. Today it’s a haven for wildlife and its quiet location makes it the ideal breeding ground for wildlife and wading birds. Home to a wide range of saltmarsh plants, including lax-flowered sea lavender, golden samphire and sea rush; breeding birds include nightingale, redshank, oystercatcher and shelduck.
Acquired by the National Trust in 1970 and until recently managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust, this small island is managed primarily for the benefit of wildlife and there is no visitor access on foot.