Why not visit an Anglian Water Green Flag water park this summer?

Sailing at Grafham Water

Sailing at Grafham Water - Credit: Archant

Here’s a guide to Anglian Water’s five Green Flag water parks in the region.

Highland cattle at Taverham Mill

Highland cattle at Taverham Mill - Credit: Archant

This week it was announced that Alton Water, Anglian Water’s water park in Suffolk retained its coveted Green Flag Award for the sixth year running, alongside the company’s Taverham Mill in Norfolk, Rutland Water in Rutland, Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire, and Pitsford Water in Northamptonshire.

The awards are a sign to visitors that the parks are well-maintained and well-managed green spaces, with excellent facilities. Green flags will be flown at car parks around the reservoirs for the next year to mark their status.

With the summer holidays in full swing, it’s a chance to remember that reservoirs are not only vital sources of water for the people of East Anglia, but also wonderful places to visit, explore and have fun.

Alton Water, Ipswich

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Even though Alton Water’s popular water sports centre has been out of bounds for part of this summer after a blue green algae bloom brought on by the hot weather, there’s still loads to see and do, meaning its green flag will still be flying high this year.

Set in 400 acres of beautiful countryside, Alton Water Park provides the perfect location for walks, cycle rides, wildlife spotting and family picnics.

Sailing at Alton Water

Sailing at Alton Water - Credit: Archant

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The site offers a range of services including a cafe and visitor centre. Activities include an eight-mile rambling route and an eight-mile cross-country cycle track. Bikes are available to hire from the visitor centre as are day and season permits for fishing.

Taverham Mill, Norwich

Taverham Mill is one of the most attractive spots in East Anglia and is situated by an old weir and mill pool on the river Wensum. The site covers 100 acres and is divided into four lakes, a stretch of the River Wensum, forest and fenland.

Included on the site are two small weir pools, three walks and a newly refurbished visitor centre and tackle shop. A new children’s playground is located adjacent to the visitor centre. Anglian Water also introduced Highland Cattle to the site three years ago to help manage the meadows.

Rutland Water

Rutland Water

Rutland Water - Credit: Archant

For cyclists you can bring your own bike, or hire bikes and choose from an easy three-mile or eight-mile route or a more challenging 25-mile route around the reservoir.

There’s plenty of places to eat, from a light snack to a meal, and animal lovers can visit Bugtopia to see a wonderful collection including lizards, tarantulas, giant stick insects and caymens.

The internationally famous nature reserve at Rutland Water is managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water and provides one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain, regularly holding in excess of 25,000 waterfowl as well as being home to the successful Rutland Osprey Project.

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire

Set in 2,400 acres of beautiful countryside, Grafham Water Park offers a wide range of attractions for visitors of all ages. The site includes a visitor centre and café and the Harbour View restaurant.

The nature reserve at Grafham Water Park is an excellent setting for those who enjoy bird watching, with seven purpose built hides and several nature trails. The diverse habitat includes scrub and wetland

Boats at Pitsford Water

Boats at Pitsford Water - Credit: Archant

Pitsford Water, Northampton

Pitsford Water and the adjoining Brixworth Country Park offer circular, well-marked, hard-surfaced trails through woodlands and meadows.

There is also a gift and souvenir shop with a sensory garden nearby. You can grab a bite to eat or a drink in the Willow Tree Café and there’s a well equipped play area for children to play safely.

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