This 100 acre nature reserve of mixed woodland managed by Essex Wildlife Trust is adjacent to the 870 acre Hanningfield Reservoir which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is the ideal site to see a wide variety of both woodland and wetland species.
Great Crested Grebe
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Past rarities include
There is a shop, toilets (including disabled) and café with views across the reservoir.
There are several trails available from the visitor centre that include some hard surfaces. Access to the reserve is also available from the fishing lodge at the eastern end of the reservoir.
The reservoir can also be viewed from the causeway (Hawkswood Road) that runs across its southwestern end.
Disabled access trail
Starting at the visitor centre this 100m (110 yard) trail leads through woodland to the Lyster hide that overlooks the western end of the reservoir.
A 1 km (0.6 mile) trail through the areas of mixed woodland taking in ponds and the four hides that overlook the reservoir on the way.
This approximately 3km (1.8 mile) walk takes you around the whole reserve and all of its different habitats.
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
TQ 725 971
9am – 4pm (November – January)
9am – 5pm (February – October)
Closed Christmas day & Boxing day
Nearest train stations: Wickford (5 km/3 miles)
Nearest bus stop: Downham Village (0.8 km/0.5 miles), bus No. 2 Billericay to Wickford, No. 10 Shotgate to Wickford & No. 13A or 14 Chelmsford to Wickford
Tel: 01268 711001