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Group Visits:Group Visits at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre

Animals and Wildlife

Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre

Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre


Hawkswood Road,
CM11 1WT


Hanningfield Reservoir visitor centre is nestled in a100-acre mature woodland reserve overlooking the 870 acre Hanningfield Reservoir.
It is a wonderful haven for nature and an ideal place to view the wildlife, it is amongst one of the top places in the country to watch both woodland and wetland birds. The site is run by Essex Wildlife Trust in partnership with Essex & Suffolk water and you can walk through the reserve to the Essex & Suffolk Fishing Lodge and the café on the water.
The centre is open daily 9am - 5pm except Christmas day and Boxing Day and offers events, courses and activities for children and adults all year round.
There are lots of gifts in the centre shop: binoculars and telescopes, books, greetings cards, a huge range of wild bird care and wildlife gardening products.
Refreshments, seating and toilets are available and the centre has full disabled access. Dogs and cycles are not permitted on the reserve.
Essex Wildlife Trust is a charity and relies on donations to carry out its work for the wildlife and people of Essex. There is Suggested Entry donation of £2 for Adults £1 for children and £5 Family. Group visits are welcome for which booking is required. With easy accessibility by road, free parking for cars and coaches, picnic areas, woodland walks, leisure facilities and breath taking scenery the Essex Wildlife Trust Hanningfield Reservoir visitor Centre makes a great day out!

Coach park: Coach parking located next to visitor centre (room for 2-3 coaches)

Drop off: Outside visitor centre

Driver: Visitor centre facilities

Visit hrs: 9

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsWheelchairs availableAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Mobility Accessibility Facilities


Full day hire 9am -4.30pm - £100
Half day hire 9am-12.30pm or 1pm-4.30pm - £50
Hourly hire - £15


Plan route to Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: TQ 725970  Lat: 51.64609 Long: 0.49228

By Road:
From the A12, turn off at Chelmsford and take the A1245 through Howe Green. Continue for approx 4 miles until you reach 'The Bell' pub in a dip and turn in South Hanningfield Road. Go to end of South Hanningfield Road, then turn right. Visitor centre is a few hundred yards on right hand side.

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 3 miles from Wickford station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality
  • Mobility Accessibility FacilitiesMobility Accessibility Facilities

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


  • YesDesignated parking for guests with disabilities
    • YesWithin 50 metres approx. of entrance
  • The surface of the car park and pathway leading to entrance:
    • Yesis solid
  • YesDrop-off point for guests outside entrance
  • The route from the parking area to the entrance:
    • YesIs flat (i.e. without steps)

Public Areas

  • Level access (no steps/thresholds) or access by ramp or lift:
    • YesFrom the entrance to reception / ticket area
    • YesTo a specially adapted public toilet suitable for wheelchair users
    • YesTo the gift shop
  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • YesContrast markings on clear surfaces such as glass doors
  • YesBaby changing facilities
  • YesVisitor information available in large print (14pt and over)


  • YesSeating available for visitors with limited mobility
  • YesClear signage
  • YesEffective lighting for visually impaired visitors
  • YesGood colour/tonal contrast for visually impaired visitors
  • YesWheelchairs provided
    • YesFree
  • YesRoutes/pathways suitable for wheelchair users or visitors with limited mobility
  • YesDisplays at suitable height for wheelchair users / children
  • YesAudible alarm system


  • YesEntrance is well lit


  • YesGood contrast between the floor and walls
  • YesSeating suitable for wheelchair users, ie moveable and good height for person sitting in a wheelchair