A large, shallow, freshwater storage reservoir and is the largest freshwater body in Essex. The reservoir contains around 25,000 Megalitres. It is a pumped storage reservoir. This means water is pumped from the rivers Chelmer, Blackwater and Stour to fill it, rather than simply relying on rainfall in the limited catchment area. The reservoir was formed by damming a shallow river valley. There a plans to increase the capacity of Abberton reservoir to 40,000 megalitres by raising the bank height all the way round.
On its margins are found well-established plant communities that provide important opportunities for feeding, nesting and shelter. Abberton Reservoir is important as an autumn arrival area for waterbirds that then spend the winter elsewhere.
Designated a Special Protection Area as a result of its over-wintering populations of Golden Plover, Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal and for its breeding population of cormorants. In addition there are significant numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Coot, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Pintail, Wigeon and Great Crested Grebe.
The Reservoir was used by the RAF’s 617 Squadron (“The Dam Busters”) for practice runs prior to the bombing of the German Dams in the Ruhr during World War II.
Our weather forecast for Colchester in Essex is split into two widgets. The first shows a timeline containing temperature, wind, sunrise/sunset and chance of rain, whilst the second shows the forecast for the week ahead including severe weather alerts when available.
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