Essex & Suffolk Water’s Hanningfield Reservoir is the UK’s busiest any-method trout fishery and played host to veteran former service personnel from the Invicta Foundation for a special day of fly and course fishing on Friday 28 April 2017.

Some of the wounded veterans taking part have been making use of the two specially adapted boats, which are available on a regular basis to all disabled anglers.

Jim Norquay, the senior ranger at Hanningfield Reservoir for Essex & Suffolk Water is also a retired soldier, with 23 years of service in the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in the British Army and he is proud to be organising an angling event for veterans.

“Over my time with the British Army I was deployed on many operational tours in various parts of the world and unfortunately I experienced the down side of military life having lost friends in-action and others that now carry the burden of physical or mental injuries. So I was extremely pleased that Essex & Suffolk Water was able to support this type of specialist fishing day,” he said.

“Fishing on a reservoir can often be a daunting experience, especially for a person with a disability, and that can often mean an angler will miss out on this experience due to access needs.

Hanningfield Reservoir and its specially adapted boats offer a chance to try this venue out and make it especially accessible to those using a wheelchair,” said Jim.

Located near Chelmsford, Hannignfield Reservoir, is set in the Essex countryside and has around 860 acres of water, natural and concrete fishing banks, 38 fishing boats and a minimum annual stocking program of 49,000 trout for each season. Part of the reservoir is set aside from fishing and is home to a nature reserve which has status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Chief Executive of the Invicta Foundation, Stephen Robertson said: “We are pleased to be working closely with Essex & Suffolk Water to help injured former service personnel enjoy a day on Hanningfield Reservoir.

“Many of the former soldiers we help have life-changing experiences and injuries that prevent them from continuing activities, such as fishing, once they’ve completed their military careers. And to have access to specialist equipment and advice from those helping to support the day is very helpful,” he said.

Free fishing for those under 18-years-old when with their parents or guardians and sharing their catch limit, is available at Hanningfield Reservoir, together with a loyalty card scheme offering a free days fishing after seven visits.

Fly fishing tuition courses for beginners and improvers are also run and led by experts and with all tackle and a lunch supplied, for £69 per person. Booking for all these Saturday tuition courses is essential and those taking part must be at least eight years old. Booking is available by calling the fishing lodge on 01268 712180.

The reservoir also supports a thriving lakeside ‘Cafe on the Water’ which is open 9.00am to 5.00pm, seven days a week from March to September.

More information and free copies of the Discover Hanningfield Reservoir 2017 Guide are available by calling 0845 155 0236 and from the website the fishery is also on Facebook:; on email at

Swimming in Hanningfield Reservoir can be dangerous and is not permitted, except under careful supervision at events. For more information about safety by reservoirs please visit Essex & Suffolk Water’s website: