A tranquil riverside marsh with great crested grebe, warblers and a colony of the nationally rare Desmoulin's whorl snail.
Once common, riverside marshes such as this are now scarce because of large-scale drainage for farming. Cholsey Marsh provides a home to a wealth of plants, insects and birds that depend on the wet reed and sedge beds. This Thames-side marsh is punctuated with patches of grassland, willow scrub and two large ponds.
The summer snowflake or Loddon lily grows here in late spring. It resembles a large snowdrop with delicate green markings on its white petals. This national rarity is a native of the Thames Valley marshes and riverbanks.
The Thames provides much of the reserve's wildlife interest. Kingfishers hunt across the water, and in summer, many dragonflies and damselfies emerge. Species of interest include the club-tailed dragonfly and the white-legged damselfly.
A place to roost
A variety of birds use the site for breeding and roosting. The ponds attract a range of ducks whilst the reedbed and scrub provide ideal habitat for warblers. The sharp-eyed may pick out a snipe feeding in the marshy grass. Cholsey Marsh is a favoured roosting site for corn buntings and meadow pipits.