College lake nature Reserve. 22/06/2013

southern damselfly
southern damselfly

Southern Damilsilfly Pictures By Mitch Canvin Please click on the above pictures to enlarge

We have visited this lake a few times now and it still retains its charm. It is near to the Towns of Ivinghoe and Tring and is run by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife trust, it is free to get in but they ask for a £3 donation to park the car which is a fare amount to pay I think. Near to the car park, you enter via the Visitors centre, this has staff inside and plenty of info on the surrounding Birdlife and other nature related things that happen around the lake.
Stacks Image 1745
Once a chalk quarry, College Lake has been restored over 20 years into a mix of different habitats and is now one of our flagship reserves. As you enter the reserve one of the first sights to greet you is the wide expanse of open water and marshland.

The marshland is perhaps the most important of the reserve's homes for wildlife, as in the summer it supports a number of breeding waders. These include lapwing and redshank, both of which are rare species, and College Lake is a key breeding site in Buckinghamshire. In the lake, common terns nest on specially created islands.

In the winter, the inhabitants of the water change, and wintering wildfowl, such as wigeon and teal, from Scandinavia and beyond, use the wetlands for feeding and roosting.

Elsewhere on the reserve, chalk grassland is alive with colour during the spring and summer as a wide variety of flowers come into bloom. These support a range of insects, including a number of rarer butterfly species such as the small blue. Rough grassland provides a home for breeding skylarks, as well as shelter for small mammals, which in turn feed birds of prey such as kestrels and barn owls.

Woodland, scrub and hedgerows are widespread across the reserve, and support a wide variety of wildlife, including finches and tits. In the winter thrushes such as fieldfare and redwings feed on the berries.

An unusual feature of College Lake is the Cornfield Flowers project. Started in the 1980s, College Lake was one of the first places in the country to actively conserve these rare and beautiful flowers, and now produces a glorious show of colour every year during June and July.

Opening times
Summer opening hours: everyday 9.30am - 5pm (last entry)
2 miles north of
HP23 5QG
Map reference
SP 9314 1436