Hanningfield Water at Hanningfield Reservoir - the birdwatchers paradise

Main Entrance

Giffords Lane


Essex, CM3 8HX

Home About Us Contact Us Directions Kids Zone Links

Visitor Centre

Hawkswood Road, Downham


Essex, CM11 1WT



For latest visits and sightings information, go to Twitter or Facebook

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 Gadwall, 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.

There is much to read on the Internet of the facilities which are provided by both Hanningfield Reservoir and the Essex Wildlife Trust but the subject of the birds and water fowl which inhabit Hanningfield Water is not covered very well.

We hope to reverse this by providing you with a website which is entirely about this population.

We will cover the various Hides which are available the species which are seen and if you would like to join the relaxed band of watchers or just contribute your knowledge and experience, then please contact us by the various options in the Contact Us page.

If you go to the Kids Zone, we have listed, with images, all the birds and water fowl you may expect to see from  the Bird Hides around Hanningfield Reservoir.

Also available for the Kids are spreadsheets which they or you can download when you are doing the spotting so that a record can be kept of what is seen.

Birds which you may see at the reservoir ….

Whilst you are enjoying your bird spotting, take your camera or smartphone with you and if you get the chance, take a photograph of what you see, particularly if you spot something unusual taking place.

Email the photograph to us and we will display it on this website. Details click HERE.

Photograph of the Month! Let’s take a look at the Bird Hides ….
Visit  our

How to identify birds

Practice makes perfect

Useful Kit


     Bird book


Top tips


The above recommendations are taken from


 It was founded by Martin Roelofs, a birding enthusiast and hobbyist from the Netherlands that wants to share his knowledge and experience with other Bird Watchers.

Birds to Look Out For Around the Waterways

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest bird sighting at Hanningfield, select below

Last Update

A new link called

“Creating a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard”

Submitted by Mycozygarden.com

Sept 2019


2020 Copyright - No images or content must be copied or used without permission

designed by studio164 -  07964 628833


Site Map:


About Us

Contact Us





The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the website’s administrator and/or any contributing

members of the public through the Forum and do not represent those of any bird or wildlife trust, association or company.

If you are out and about by the reservoir, or waterways, there is plenty of wildlife to look out for. Take a look at the waterway birds guide.

Connie Bowen  got in touch with us and suggested a great website if you are or would like to learn to build a Butterfly environment in your garden or back yard, take a look and see what you think!