SPECIES of vibrant purple flowers have all flowered in unison creating an incredible scene at Essex's largest heathland.

An array of species of heather flowers can be seen at Tiptree Heath Nature Reserve, which is jointly managed by Essex Wildlife Trust and The Friends of Tiptree Heath.

Brimming with wildlife, the heathland is an oasis or serenity just off Maldon Road in the village.

A herd of semi-wild Exmoor Ponies peacefully graze the heath whilst sparrowhawks and buzzards can be spotted in the skies.

Eagled-eyed visitors may also spot small mammals including voles and shrews scuttling amongst the plants.

Dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies also call the area their hope.

Tiptree Heath is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the heather species which grow in the area - common ling, bell heather and cross-leaved heather.

It is the only place in the county where you'll find all three in the same place.

The nature reserve covers 24 hectares, 12 of which comprises of open heathland.

Joan Pinch, warden at Tiptree Heath Nature Reserve said: “The heather looks better year on year with new heather establishing elsewhere and more being uncovered when removing scrub.

"The hard work of Essex Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers, along with The Friends of Tiptree Heath and the lovely Exmoor Ponies has really helped the Heather to flourish.”

Visit essexwt.org.uk.