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  1. ITV Report

Essex reservoir revisited three years after £150 million expansion

David Attenborough visiting Abberton Reservoir in 2015 Credit: ITV Anglia

In June 2015, Sir David Attenborough marked the completion of a scheme to expand Abberton reservoir and create more wildlife havens. Essex & Suffolk Water started the project in 2010, aiming to more than double the reserve's capacity.

The reservoir, near Colchester, is the country's fourth largest reservoir. In 2015, 15 billion litres of water were added to the reservoir. Following a tour of the renewed site, Sir Attenborough gave a speech revealing his thoughts.

Currently, the reserve is teeming with wildlife. Terns, teal, cormorant and coot all jostle for space on the 1200 acre body of water.

Birds at Abberton Reservoir Credit: ITV Anglia

"The numbers are really increasing, we had 40,000 birds here last month. The vegetation is really good for them and the shallow slopes are ideal for feeding. It's a safe place tor them with little interaction with the public."

– Dr Kim Wallis, Conservation Advisor Essex & Suffolk Water

The Wildlife Trust collaborates with Essex and Suffolk water to look after Abberton.

"it's a really young site, so we've only been here since 2003, but we've already got some really good species and habitats. We've seen marsh harrier and smew down on the water - anyone can come and enjoy it here!"

– Jo Wray Site Manager, Essex Wildlife Trust
An aerial view of the expanded reservoir Credit: ITV Anglia