Park Lane Nature Reserve can be found part way along Park Lane which is off Newbridge Road, at the end of Park Drive.
Park Lane is an ancient highway, a relic from long ago, which connects the two villages of Tolleshunt Knights and Tiptree. It is a typical narrow, hedged bridleway, which continues to be regularly used by both horse riders and walkers.
Park Lane Nature Reserve, an area of 2.4 hectares (5.93 acres), was purchased by Tiptree Parish Council in 1978 with the intention of providing much needed sports facilities. Sadly the cost proved prohibitive and the field lay fallow for many years, allowing seeds from the trees and shrubs on the boundaries and neighbouring Cadgers Wood to gradually fill the field with scrub and oak trees.
Following a survey in 1995 by BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and the efforts of Tiptree conservationist Peter More, the field was registered as a Local Nature Reserve. A further survey in 2003, carried out by Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT), established that the principal habitat was acid grassland within a mosaic of rough grassland and recent oak woodland. From this survey EWT drew up a Management Strategy. The pond had been created some ten years earlier by widening a section of Layer Brook.
In June 2012, the Parish Council took over the management of a further 2.83ha (6.99 acres) which is made up of an extension to the existing nature reserve and an amenity area.
Thanks to the continued, invaluable support of local conservationists Fred Boot and John More, the Management Survey has been broken up into Annual Work Programmes. The work is carried out in part by local contractors, The Conservation Volunteers, Tiptree Parish Council workmen and Friends of Tiptree Heath. The whole area is now regarded as a ‘special place’ enjoyed by families, dog walkers and nature lovers, all of whom appreciate its quiet remoteness.
In December 2014, the whole area was designated as a 'Queen Elisabeth 2 Field in Trust'. This means that the whole area will remain solely for the purpose of use as an public open space, nature reserve and wildlife area.