Wigborough Bay Bird Hide, Abberton Reservoir

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Wigborough Bay Hide is one of two small bird hides that we built for Essex Wildlife Trust at Abberton Reservoir, accompanying three larger hides and the children’s visitor centre that we built. It features three double windows that can be opened from the top or bottom, and a natural looking hazel fence that hides nature watchers from wildlife as they approach the hide.


approach-abberton-reservoir-memorial-bird-hide-blind-essex-wildlife-trustAt One With Nature

As with all our bird hides, we wanted Wigborough Bay Bird Hide to fit into the natural surroundings and be as unobtrusive as possible. As the hide is located on an open area of land without foliage, we utilised traditional hazel fencing that served the dual purpose of hiding the approach of nature watchers and helping to blend the hide into the natural environment.

The double shuttered windows allow nature watchers to open the shutters that they are looking through, keeping the others closed, minimising disturbances to the wildlife and adding some extra protection from the elements.

As with all our creations, this bird hide was a custom built project and is complimentary to the larger bird hides that we built elsewhere on the site, all of which look out over Abberton Reservoir.

The area is known for skylarks, brown hares, common terns, and goldeneyes, although the full list of wildlife seen here is very extensive.

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sir-david-attenborough-at-abberton-reservoir-essex-wildlife-trustA Visit by Sir David Attenborough

The naturalist and broadcaster – and an icon of recent decades – Sir David Attenborough, paid a visit to Abberton Reservoir to mark the completion of the £150 million Abberton Scheme by unveiling a special engraved stone.

Our hides were a part of this huge scheme which enlarged Abberton Reservoir by 58% whilst creating a vastly improved habitat for wildlife.

Sir David commented, “I can remember a time when nature conservation and development were seen to be in opposition – you either developed or conserved – and that led to confrontation. Here at Abberton Reservoir this is fundamentally, extraordinarily, and wonderfully different.”

This idea of development and environmental conservation goes hand in hand with our core beliefs at The Wild Deck Company and we are very proud to be part of such a forward thinking, environmentally friendly development project. As Sir David Attenborough said, conservation and development no longer have to be at loggerheads, and we hope to see many more projects that align with this ethos in the future.


The Complete Set of Structures at Abberton Reservoir

Wigborough Bay Hide is just one structure among five bird hides, a children’s visitor centre, an outdoor play area, and a sand martin bank that we built at Abberton Reservoir. You can take a look at the full list of what we have made at Abberton Reservoir for Essex Wildlife Trust, whilst some of the bigger creations are outlined below:

Hide Bay Hide

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A large, sedum roof bird hide with entrance ramp and screen fencing.

Gwen’s Hide

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A sedum roofed bird hide with an access ramp and screens.

Children’s Visitor Centre

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A dual purpose structure that functions as both a bird hide and a children’s information centre.

Island Hide

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A large, cedar shingle roofed bird hide with a screened entrance ramp.

Wigborough Bay Hide

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A small, raised bird hide with an open back. We built two like this.

Outdoor Play Area

Rustic Wooden Play Area

A rustic, themed play area by our sister company, Flights of Fantasy.


What Visitors Are Saying About the Bird Hides at Abberton Reservoir

Aside from the odd, special day, such as the official opening by Sir David Attenborough, we don’t often get to visit our sites regularly and hear what people think of them. However, the following reviews have been left on Tripadvisor since we completed the project.

“Bird hide out 10/10”

by Brandon R

“Excellent bird-watching centre”

by Anthony R

“Lovely hides to watch the birds and wildlife”

by jocelynandrews45

“Extremely disabled-friendly. [..] I Could easily access the entire site including the hides.”

by Sheila D


front-and-hazel-fencing-abberton-reservoir-memorial-bird-hide-blind-essex-wildlife-trustBird Hide Design and Customisation

At the Wild Deck Company, we only choose ethically sourced FSC timber in all of our projects or wood from a similarly proven sustainable source. Using either hardwood or softwood, our bird hides are made to exact specifications and, if using softwood, can be treated and painted in a range of colours. Roofs can pitched or flat, and can be thatched using local straw, reed, cedar shingles, or sedum.

All of our bird hides feature access steps and / or ramps, braced wall sections in a wide choice of finishes, and rainwater control. As each project is bespoke, you can choose to customise your bird hide so that it is exactly what you need it to be to work for your environment. Some of the features we have incorporated into our bird hide designs in the past include shutters, windows (fitted with safety glass or polycarbonate where necessary), lean-on shelves, seating, rails, notice boards, lighting and emergency lighting (including solar-powered), and WCs that discharge to bio treatment plants. And if you have anything else in mind, we can probably incorporate that into the design too.

Please take a moment to look at some of the other bird hide constructions we have undertaken in the past and see the great scope of creativity available when creating bird hides – it might also give you some ideas for your own hide.

Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us via email or phone to discuss your own hide – we are only too happy to help, and can work from strict plans or design a bird hide completely from scratch to fit your needs. We can also incorporate the design with other features to compliment your natural setting such as boardwalks, dipping platforms, and observation decks / viewing platforms.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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