Mercury Marshes Local Nature Reserve

Saltmarsh, reedbeds and scrub on the banks of the river Hamble

Mercury marshes under ice

About the site

Situated along the western bank of the River Hamble, Mercury Marshes is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The site consists of woodland, reedbed and intertidal mud, creeks and islands. Reedbed covers the majority of the site with patches of willow carr existing along the path edges. The intertidal area is dominated by saltmarsh vegetation such as sea purslane, cord grass, sea aster and glasswort.


The reserve is of particular importance for some invertebrates. It also forms an important feeding area for waders, wildfowl and herons. Water rails, reed buntings and warblers frequent the reedbed and willow carr.

The site centres around the T.S. Mercury Memorial, slipway and boating quay. A tidal creek divides the site in the middle allowing views of the river. A viewpoint located at the water edge, near the old pier, means visitors can observe the river and local landscape.

Contact us

South Area Office, Ranger Depot, Pylands Lane, Southampton SO31 1BH

Phone 023 8040 2534