Hanningfield Reservoir lies between South and West Hanningfield. It is a man-made reservoir, which lies on what was Sandon Valley.
Much of the area around the reservoir has been developed as a nature reserve by Essex Wildlife Trust, and is home to many fresh water birds, with a wide variety of seasonal visitors. Several hides have been built on the shore of the reservoir to allow visitors to get an excellent view of the birds.
The reservoir is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the important numbers of wildfowl that use the reservoir in the autumn and winter. Birds include Gladwell, Tufted Duck and Pochard. There are often thousands of Swifts, Swallows and Martins feeding over the water during peak fly hatches during the summer. There are also over 30 acres of the ancient woodland, with spring flowers such as Bluebells and Stitchwort carpeting of some woodland clearings.
Fishing at Hanningfield Reservoir
There is a fishing lodge at the reservoir that provides permits for the public to fish. Seasonal fly fishing from both the waterside and boats is allowed. The reservoir is well stocked with rainbow trout. From boats or across the bank you can enjoy fly, maggot, worm, Powerbait and spinning throughout the season. For up date information on fishing in the reservoir call the Essex and Suffolk Water leisure team on 0845 155 0236.
Eating and Drinking at Hanningfield Reservoir
Hanningfield reservoir has two cafes, one each side. The newest is situated next door to the fishing lodge, and has decking that overlooks the water. It serves cooked food, cakes, tea and coffee. This cafe is run by Essex and Suffolk Water. Call 01268 712 182 for information. The other cafe is part of the Essex Wildlife Trust visitors’ centre.
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
The visitor centre runs many events for both adults and children, including photography skills, wildlife walks, bird watching, owl watching and pre-school clubs. For more information see the events section of the Essex Wildlife Trust website.
Address: Hawkswood Road , Downham, Billericay, Essex, CM11 1WT – Tel: 01268 711001