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Hosehill Lake

March 2017. A footbridge on the main route around the lake, near the western entrance to the reserve, is being repaired. While the bridge is closed we have created a temporary alternative route so that visitors can walk all the way round the lake. Unfortunately the temporary bridge is narrow and not suitable for pushchairs or buggies. We will install a new bridge, and repair and reinforce the banks as soon as possible. Please bear with us while we get the repairs completed so that families can enjoy Hosehill Lake this spring. If you have any queries please contact us:

Wetland wildlife


Hosehill Lake hosts a wide variety of water fowl in the winter and nightingales join the butterflies and dragonflies in the spring.

Look out for wetland birds including lapwings, little ring plovers, great crested grebes and a number of more unusual visitors like the bittern.

A large sand martin bank can be viewed from the other side of the lake and house martins, swifts and swallow can be seen from March/April.

Wildflower meadow

The meadow to the east of the lake is a visual treat throughout the spring and summer. It is cut and then grazed by wild Exmoor ponies for a short period after this in the spring and autumn.

The meadow and the Butterfly Bank to the south of the lake are the best places to see a range of butterflies, day-flying moths and other insects.

Things to do

  • Follow the 1 mile circular walk around the edge of the lake. As of 9 March 2017 this is partially closed because of a broken bridge. We are repairing the bridge and banks, and will re-open the path as soon as possible.
  • Volunteer with our regular work parties.
  • Help us manage this reserve by supporting us
  • Tweet your wildlife sightings to @bbowt
  • Sign up to our e-newsletter

Download the site risk assessment.

Your Hosehill Lake photographs

Share your photographs of Hosehill Lake with us! Just add them to our BBOWT flickr group, and tag them with 'hosehill'

Nearby nature reserves

Wokefield Common
2 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Moor Copse
3 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Padworth Common
4 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

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Reserve information

1 mile south of
Map reference
SU 649 698
Great for...
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
23.50 hectares
Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Walking information
Mix of grass and surfaced paths, flat around northern part of lake, undulating to south. Narrow bridges. Lakeside paths muddy in winter. Bicycles and horse riding not permitted.
From M4 junction 12 take the A4 to Theale. Straight across first roundabout, take next slip road off dual carriageway singposted Theale railway station. Follow signs for station, continue over railway and canal until roundabout. Turn left and park within Fox and Hounds car park. Reserve entrance is opposite pub.
Dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Exmoor ponies in fenced meadow (spring and autumn).
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01635 35157

Smartphone Safari

Every weekend on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford we broadcast a Smartphone Safari. Listen along as we explore some of our fantastic reserves and introduce you to the wildlife you can see.