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Lymington and Keyhaven Marshes

A large area of coastal marsh and mudflats supporting internationally important numbers of birds and specialised plants.

This large area of salt marsh and mudflats lies either side of Lymington River and is of international importance for the large numbers of breeding, feeding and roosting birds that it supports.

Although there is no access into the coastal marshes themselves, gravel paths maintained by Hampshire County Council (who own the inland marshes) allow visitors to walk along the sea wall and admire the stunning vistas across the Solent to Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight. 

The fish in the waters make this a haven for numerous birds including Sandwich and Little Terns, Black-headed Gulls, Cormorants, Redshank and Oystercatcher. In winter you can admire the mass gathering of Brent Geese, and watch roosting Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover in the sheltered marshes. 

For botanists, the local specialist salt-tolerant plants to look out for among the shingle banks include the Yellow-horned Poppy, Sea Campion and Sea Aster.




Nearby nature reserves

Lymington Reedbeds
4 miles - Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust
Bouldnor Forest
5 miles - Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust
Ningwood Common
6 miles - Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Less than 3 miles from Lymington.
SO41 3SE (to Lymington Lifeboat Station car park)
Map reference
SZ 310 910
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Opening Times
Open at all times.
738.00 hectares
No direct access onto the marsh, the site can be viewed from the sea wall, which runs around the Hampshire County Council's Lymington and Pennington Marshes reserve. Please keep off the marshes to avoid disturbance to the sea birds.
Walking information
Please keep off the marshes to avoid disturbance to the sea birds.
Park in Lymington at Bath Road, or the public car park opposite pub in Keyhaven or in car park near Hurst Spit.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01489 774 400