Know before you go
Parking informationTake A4 south out of Theale, take slip road off dual carriageway singposted Theale railway station. Follow signs for station, continue over railway and canal. Turn left at roundabout and park in Fox and Hounds pub car park. Reserve entrance opposite pub
Grazing animalsExmoor ponies in fenced meadow (spring and autumn).
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.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
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.
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.
Hosehill Lake is managed by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust on behalf of West Berkshire Council.