Abberton Reservoir Rights of Way Project

Working in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water (ESW) and Anglia Ruskin University, in 2015, one of our projects was to help deliver the The Abberton Rights of Way feasibility study.

As part of ESW planning permission to expand the reservoir, this project involves asking members of the public what public access they would like to see around the reservoir area and looking at what is feasible. A Rights of Way committee formed of Parish councils (Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton, Winstred Hundred and Abberton & Langenhoe) and user group representatives (Ramblers, British Horse Society, Essex Bridleway Association, Sustrans, Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council, Natural England) will use the information gathered at this stage of the project to make a decision as to how funding set aside to improve Public Rights of Way will be spent.

New permissive footpaths and bridleways have been put in around the reservoir, including a small circular route, perfect for the family! Click here for a map* of the new routes including other rights of way. You can also download the Walks and Countryside Access Leaflet produced as part of this project. It is also available from the Wildlife Trust visitor centre where you can pop in for a slice of homemade cake and a drink.

Low Carbon Objectives  

The Abberton Reservoir Rights of Way study was partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Low Carbon Keep Fund. The following low carbon objectives were set as part of this project:

  1. Create a database of locally produced foods and producers, mapped to existing and potential outlets and explore potential for increasing sales of local foods
  2. Survey local farm waste and whether there is potential for a future project for establishing an anaerobic digester
  3. Collect visitor information at the Wildlife Trust visitor centre, including transport methods and planned activities around the reservoir whilst promoting low carbon methods of visiting the area


  1. Feasibility report completed
  2. Walks and Countryside Access around Abberton Reservoir Leaflet produced
  3. Boma purchased to enable disabled people to access the walks around the reservoir.

*The material contained on this plot has been reproduced from an Ordnance Survey map with permission of the controller of H.M.S.O. Crown Copyright Reserved. Licence No. WV299022. 

The Abberton Rights of Way Project was a joint project between en-form, Essex and Suffolk Water and Anglia Ruskin University.

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