When the Reservoir was created in 1975, a narrow strip of land with an area of 500 acres was set aside at the western end as a nature reserve. In addition, three large lagoons were created with the ability to control water levels to ensure suitable habitat for a wide variety of waders and wildfowl throughout the year.
In Lagoon 1 in front of the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre, and Lagoon 2 , immediately to the north, water levels are fairly shallow and are attractive to wildfowl such as Tufted Duck, Coot and Goosander.
There are extensive muddy banks with small islands and channels, which are used by waders and terns, both as prime feeding areas and for breeding.
Lagoon 3, further north, has much deeper water and attracts large numbers of diving ducks. However, along its edge is a large Phragmites reed bed which hosts an important Reed Warbler colony. Careful management is being carried out in order to encourage reed growth and to extend the area of the reed bed. Click here for details of an extension to the reed bed.
Below: A view of Lagoon 2 looking south back towards the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre from Smew Hide with reed beds to the right
Below shows the Winter Trail walk along the back of the Lagoon 2 heading north
Many of the management tasks are carried out by volunteers, supervised by reserve staff. Whether it is forage harvesting, coppicing, hedging, or reed bed management, the reserve provides opportunities for active conservation work all year round. If you are interested in learning these skills – please get in touch
Reserve Officer Lloyd Park with volunteers clearing reed beds around Lagoon 2 in late Autumn.
Around the edges of the lagoons are areas of willow scrub and young plantations which were established when the reservoir was built and are managed by coppicing on a regular basis to ensure attractive habitats for warblers and other passerines.