Fri 18 May 2018 12:30I often treat myself to a cup of tea and a jacket potato at the Cafe on the Water in South Hanningfield, next to Hanningfield Reservoir, England's 11th largest reservoir.
This time I've decided to park up in West Hanningfield and see where I can walk to. The village itself is very small and before long I'm at the edge of the water.
I'm pretty sure that this is normally fenced off, but what's this? An open gate? It looks like they've unlocked it to let people come in to fish the water - presumably some private arrangement with a local angling club - but no one's in charge here, so I've just wandered in.
The reservoir is now owned by Essex and Suffolk Water and the Essex Wildlife Trust. It was created in 1957 by flooding the village of Peasdown - no buildings are underwater but there is a digger encased in concrete at the bottom. It holds 26 billion litres of water and when it was opened it took 200 days to fill.
This is definitely the right thing to do as opposed to walking on the road next to it. Firstly, you're by the water. Secondly, you're away from the traffic - although there are virtually no cars driving on the northern loop road, which takes you from West Hanningfield to South Hanningfield and nowhere else. Lastly, you don't get to see sheep quite so close down there. If you like sheep.
You do get a fantastic view of the countryside along here. It's definitely worthwhile checking out when the gate will be open - if Google can help you there - and heading down and pretending to fish. People who fish don't tend to look at you or talk to you anyway, they like fish more.
Also, since it's spring, nice to see a family of geese and cute goslings. I did get hissed at just a bit, but I didn't get chased or attacked, so I was quite happy with that.
Article written Fri 18 May 2018 12:30, last modified Sun 20 May 2018 11:10