Hanningfield Reservoir and Woods

Hanningfield Reservoir and WoodsHanningfield Reservoir and Woods

A nationally important site for breeding and wintering wildfowl

Essex Wildlife Trust

360 view

The second largest reservoir in Essex, Hanningfield Reservoir is approximately five miles south of Chelmsford.

Hanningfield reservoir and woods include:
• A large Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
• A nationally important site for breeding and wintering wildfowl.
• A large number of uncommon Essex plants and animals.
• An important area for bats e.g. a maternity roost of over 350 Soprano Pipistrelle bats in the visitor centre roof.

Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane

360 view

What's happening?

Delivering a range of benefits for wildlife, people and the local economy.

  • The visitor centre and nature reserves allow the less able to access the site.
  • 50,000 visitors are attracted to the site annually.
  • Educational activities are provided for over 3,500 children and young people.
  • Essex Wildlife Trust runs courses, activities and events throughout the year for over 8,000 children and adults.
  • Forest School programme for young people, youth services, secondary special and provisional schools across Essex.
  • Work with local suppliers, contractors and service providers.
  • An accreditation scheme for young people working towards a young conservationist qualification has been funded by HLF Young Roots Grant Scheme.
  • More than 100 volunteers freely give their time and skills to support every aspect of our work for nature conservation on the site.
  • A variety of community partners are involved in the management of the site, such as Essex and Suffolk Water, local parish councils, fishing groups.
  • The vision is to extend these benefits to a much larger area.


This scheme is helping species including...

Birds: Gadwall, tufted duck and pochard are three of the important breeding and overwintering bird species here and year-round coot numbers are of national significance.

Other wildlife: badger, dormice, bats and many native reptile species.


Natural England, Forestry Commission, Local Authorities, British Trust for Ornithology, local landowners

To find out more

Email: admin@essexwt.org.uk | Tel: 01621 862960 | Essex Wildlife Trust 

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