This is a lakeside walk suitable for any time of year but I enjoyed this easy circular walk in mid May. Dogs are permitted but there are signs asking for dogs to be kept under control to prevent them disturbing the nesting birds. This is a popular nature reserve for those bird watchers, particularly, wetland birds. It also boasts a wildflower meadow. The site is managed by
Bucks, Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust. https://www.bbowt.org.uk/nature-reserves/hosehill-lake
As mentioned, this nature reserve is also a thriving bird sanctuary. You will spot many bird boxes in the trees as well as viewing platforms and bird hides around the lake. This place is popular with local bird twitchers
www.berksbirds.co.uk/, dog walkers,who may also appreciate the local dog friendly pub, www.foxandhoundstheale.co.uk/ and ramblers.
The views across the lake are stunning with plenty of variety. This gentle walk certainly encourages a sense of mental wellbeing, with its small beaches and the gentle waves lapping the shores. There are also plenty of reed beds rustling with wildlife. Fortunately there are also many viewing platforms and rustic seats dotted around the lake’s edge from which to enjoy these beautiful peaceful views. If you want to spot the wide variety waterfowl, then a good pair of binoculars will prove very useful.
To the east and south of the lake the land is reserved as meadow. The eastern meadow is cut and then grazed by wild Exmoor ponies for a short period in the spring and autumn. In the southern meadow there is a butterfly bank. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosehill_Lake
This wildflower walk in May will take you along a mixture of grass and surfaced paths. Whilst fairly flat around northern part of the lake the paths become more undulating to south. This makes it tricky for pushchairs or buggies unless they are the off road variety. The narrow bridges do add charm to the walk. Some of the paths can be muddy in winter. The walk is approximately one mile, but can easily take up to one hour at a slow pace as there are many interesting places to stop and enjoy the views.
Happy Wildflower hunting in May.
Kim Mackenzy Andrews is a children’s book author, nature writer, photographer, and artist.
Find her Nature books for children on Amazon.
Wildlife articles for nature lovers: – patch reporting for the BBC Wildlife magazine.
Kim Mackenzy Andrews Children’s Author
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