Experts at the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) have analysed areas across Colchester to expose the unhealthiest places in the borough

Specialists at CDRC investigated wellbeing by monitoring pollution levels in each part of the town, as well as the amount of parks and recreational spaces.

The availability of health services, such as GP surgeries and pharmacies, and the number of takeaways, pubs and gambling shops was also taken into account.

An interactive map has now been created to display the findings, showing both the healthiest and unhealthiest areas based on the factors.

How does the map work?

The map tracks a CDRC's health index - also known as Access to Healthy Assets and Hazards (AHAH).

It takes into consideration:

  • Retail environment (access to fast food outlets, pubs, off-licences, tobacconists, gambling outlets)
  • Health services (access to GPs, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, leisure services)
  • Physical environment (Blue Space, Green Space - Active, Green Space - Passive)
  • Air quality (Nitrogen Dioxide, Particulate Matter 10, Sulphur Dioxide).

Each of these factors is tracked and provides an overall AHAH score for that area.

The lower the school the healthier the area is, it appears blue on the map.

The higher scores are represented with red and indicates the town is less healthy than its blue counterparts.

Areas are also ranked one to 10 - healthiest areas are given a rank of one while the unhealthiest regions are classed as a 10.

If you want to check out your area in more detail you can view the whole map by clicking here.

Here are how the main areas in Colchester fair on the map:

Colchester town centre


Perhaps unsurprising Colchester town centre is one of the unhealthiest areas in the borough.

There are a mix of rankings amongst the area, ranging from 9 down to four, depending on where abouts you look.

Marks Tey and Copford


Although both of these areas are small villages, they are both ranked as 10 or nine using the data.

This is probably in large part down to the proximity of the A12 and A120.

Old Heath and Hythe


Old Heath and Hythe is again a mix of different ratings, with the majority sitting in five, or midway on the table.

Some areas are more unhealthy according to the data, with a score of six.



The majority of West Mersea is in the 1 rating, the best possible, however some areas are in 5.

There are small pockets on the east side of the island which are also ranked 9.



The popular residential area on the south side of Colchester fair relatively well in the rankings, with most areas sitting at 4.

Some are slightly higher at 5 however.

Great Horkesley and West Bergholt


The majority of Great Horkesley and West Bergholt is rated between either 5 or 7 according to the data.

Greenstead and Parson's Heath


Parts of Greenstead are rated as 7 according to the map, however other parts are healthier and ranked 4 or even 2 in some cases.

Nearby Parsons Heath is rated a mix of 5 and 2. Layer, Abberton and Fingringhoe


Parts of the three villages differ in rating, ranging from 8 to 5 on the scale.



Leafy Lexden appears to be one of the healthiest areas in the borough, with ratings ranging from 2 through to 5.

The majority of the area is below the 5 mark however.

Mile End and Braiswick


According to the data, Mile End and Braiswick appears to officially be the heathiest places in Colchester.

The whole of both areas are ranked 2, which is just above the best rating on the scale.

Shrub End


Shrub End is a mix bag of ratings depending on where abouts in the area you live.

As this map shows, there are ratings ranging from 2 through to 8.



Some areas in Tiptree are ranked 10, the worst level on the scale.

Parts do fare better, with ratings of 5 or 8.

Wivenhoe and Rowhedge


Most of Rowhedge is ranked 3 on the scale, whilst much of Wivenhoe is 6, with some areas of the town in 1, the best score on the scale.

You can view the map in more detail here.