Essex Wildlife Trust
South Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Telephone: 01268 711001
Opening: Daily, 9am-5pm
Address: Hawkswood Road , Downham, Billericay, Essex, CM11 1WT
A warm welcome will always greet you at Hanningfield reservoir visitor centre.The visitor centre is set in mature woodland and offers superb views over the 870 acre Hanningfield Reservoir. It is an ideal place to view the wildlife within the nature reserve and to receive the latest sightings news. The centre has full disabled access as does the Lyster Bird hide that is a short distance away. There are lots of gifts in the centre shop and a full range of binoculars and telescopes, as well as books and refreshments. So while you're enjoying a nice warming drink you can take time to enjoy the stunning view over the water and browse the display.
The nature reserve offers some beautiful walks through the woodland, taking in bird hides, ponds and views across the reservoir. The site is run in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water and you can walk through the reserve to the Essex & Suffolk Water Fishing Lodge
and the Café on the Water. The reservoir itself is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
due to the important numbers of wildfowl that use the reservoir in the autumn and
winter, including Gladwell, Tufted Duck and Pochard. The spectacle of thousands of Swifts, Swallows and Martins feeding over the water during peak fly hatches is one of the delights for the summer visitor. 30 acres of the woodland are ancient in origin and spring flowers include carpets of Bluebells and Stitchwort.
There are some really good nature trails on the reserve for all to enjoy and the new orienteering course is proving extremely popular. Advice is always on hand in the visitor centre, to help identify wildlife and to inform visitors of the best locations to see and experience wildlife.
For details of all events at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre visit their website: http://www.essexwt.org.uk/visitor_centres__nature_reserves/hanningfield_reservoir/