Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve, Herefordshire



Shallow, tree-lined lake alongside the River Lugg, formed by flooding of gravel pits in the 1980s. A bird sanctuary, with three hides, two orchards, and paths through meadows
On the west side of Bodenham, off the A49: HR1 3JT
Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve in Herefordshire is primarily of interest as a bird sanctuary, with over 170 species observed over the course of the year; half the 111 acre site is closed to the public to create a safe breeding and overwintering area. The place is moderately scenic, crossed by several paths, so is also a good place for walks or picnics, in the adjacent meadows, which are filled with a selection of common wildflowers.

The shallow, tree-lined lake, 0.6 miles long, was created in the 1980s after flooding and linking together of a series of pits, site of sand and gravel extraction for several decades; prior to this the area was wet farmland, sometimes flooded by the River Lugg, which flows past on the south side.

To the north, the lake is bordered by the steep, wooded slopes of Dinmore Hill, on top of which is Queenswood County Park & Arboretum. The nature reserve is reached by the road to Bodenham village, and is open from dawn to dusk daily - the entry gate is closed in the evenings. Swimming and other watersports are not permitted. The site also has a picnic area, three bird hides and two orchards, plus several lakeside/riverside meadows, managed by seasonal grazing of sheep.

The Reserve

From the parking area, in the northeast corner of the reserve, a short track heads west to a boat launch site, then a path continues a little way along the wooded north shore to a bird hide, this about halfway along the lake, at the edge of the restricted zone. Also by the track are the two orchards, one containing apple trees for cider production, the other varied species for jams and another culinary uses. A second track heads south from the entrance, past a patch of wet woodland bordering the lake and a path to another hide, to a meadow between the lake and the River Lugg. A path crosses this meadow, close to the more open south shore of lake to a third hide, overlooking several islands, large and small.

Small islands, near the southwest hide

River Lugg
Trees beside the River Lugg