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Hosehill Lake

Hosehill Lake is one of several lakes that connect to form the Theale Gravel Pits complex. Since 1988 this site has been managed for nature conservation by the Theale Area Bird Conservation Group. Now a nationally-important area for wintering wildfowl, warblers and nightingales this is a Local Nature Reserve and Local Wildlife Site.

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 ringed 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. Benches at viewing points.
  • Visit the Fox and Hounds pub, next to the reserve, which kindly offers BBOWT members 15% off on presentation of a membership card. Call the pub on 01189 302295 for more info.
  • 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


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
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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.