5 Reasons Why College Lake Is My Favourite Wildlife Trust Reserve

This week I briefly visited College Lake, a site owned by BBOWT (The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust). As you can tell from the title of this blogpost, this is my favourite nature reserve owned by a wildlife trust. There is many reasons for this, apart from the fact it is one of the closest reserves to me:

1) It has stunning scenery


You walk through the visitor centre and you are struck by this site. When I first visited this reserve two years ago I just stood there in shock for a minute or so. The landscape is so open due to the fact that the reserve is in an old quarry and you really feel like you are in a truly wild place, even though the site is man made. From certain aspects of the reserve you can get great views of some of my other favourite places to visit including Coombe Hill and Aldbury Nowers, another wildlife trust reserve.

2) It has wonderful wildlife

Personally I have recorded around 200 species on this site including around 100 flowering plants.

College Lake

I can imagine there are thousands more species on site and I look forward to finding and recording as many of those as possible. My records then all go to BBOWT so they can use this to influence their site management plans. I have recently found some new species to this site which is always nice.

Here are some of my favourite photos of species that I have found on site:


Small Heath


Andrena praecox


Heath Bumblebee


Common Snipe




Speckled Wood

3) They do wonderful conservation work

Apart from the quarry which is good for water birds the site has an area of woodland, chalk grassland and arable grassland. The field at the top of the reserve is my favourite part of the reserve in the summer as it is filled with flowers that would have been frequent in traditional cornfields but now, due to agricultural intensification have now became rather endangered. It is worth visiting the reserve just for this field.


4) They are keen on inspiring the next generation

Quite often when I visit the reserve I can hear the laughter of children. The site staff and volunteers seem really keen on helping engage children with generation. From sitting in the woods and having teddybear picnics to pond dipping sessions, the children seem to learn lots and forge a connection with nature. Which I imagine many readers of this blog will realise is a great step forward in a world where children are becoming more and more disconnected with the natural world. I personally like visiting the pond dipping pond myself, you are never too old to stare into a pond and wonder what creatures are inhabiting the depths below.

Pond life

5) They have a wonderful cafe. What more could you want after you have spent many a happy hour exploring a reserve?!

8 responses to “5 Reasons Why College Lake Is My Favourite Wildlife Trust Reserve

  1. Never mind the cakes that meadow looks good enough to eat – stunning and to think most people think ‘grassland’ should be short and green



  2. I work in the College Lake education team, it’s truly a special place to be, thanks for getting behind our work with those little ones, they’ll be looking after it in the future after all! Catherine 🙂

    • Hi Catherine,

      Thank you for reading the blog post! I totally agree that we need to support the little ones so I should be thanking you for helping do that!

      I would love to work for BBOWT to help keep the conservation and educational value as high as possible.

      Thanks again,


  3. People should be encouraged to have ponds in their gardens, no matter how small. They are fascinating and vital habitats 🙂

  4. Pingback: Spring Bees To Look Out For | Ryan Clark Ecology

  5. HI Ryan,

    Thanks so much for your review. We appreciate your comments very much. Love the pic of the lapwing!


    Col Lake reserve warden

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