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Hosehill Lake

Home > Reading > Animals and Wildlife | Free | Outdoor | Photography | Walks
Published May 4th 2021
A great place to see wildlife in Berkshire
Hosehill Lake is a nature reserve near Theale, on the outskirts of Reading. It's an excellent place to go bird spotting and is also known for its dragonflies and butterflies.

The local wildlife trust, BBOWT, recommend parking at the Fox and Hounds pub, and you can find directions here. The main entrance to the lake is directly opposite the pub.

Be sure to visit the viewing platform, which is near the main entrance but is easy to miss. To find it, just take the first right and then turn left.

From here, you have a great view of two little rafts which are used during spring and summer by black-headed gulls. Beyond them, you can see a large island which is often visited by cormorants.

Cormorant bird lake wildlife
Cormorant drying its wings in the sun


It's worth hanging around the viewing platform for a while, as great crested grebes often use this area for fishing. If you're patient, you might see one catch a fish right in front of you.

Great Crested Grebe


Other birds regularly seen on the lake include herons, terns, sand martins and many geese and ducks.

Canada Goose with chick


Carry on clockwise around the lake and you'll find a meadow, which in summer is filled with wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies.

Damselfly at Hosehill Meadow


And if you like insects you should also check out the butterfly bank and dragonfly pond, which you'll find on the far side of the lake. More than 25 species of butterfly have been seen here.

The nature reserve is open all year round, although spring and summer are probably the best times to visit. It's not a huge place, but if you like wildlife you can easily spend an hour wandering around and taking photos.
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Why? Great place to see wildlife
When: Open all year
Where: 1 mile south of Theale
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Welcome to Weekend Notes Alan. A very informative article and great photos.
by nfoll (score: 1|54) 90 days ago
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