Godmanchester Nature Reserve

Godmanchester Nature Reserve

Godmanchester Nature Reserve

A rich mixture of flooded gravel pits, grassland, reedbed and willows

Location

At the end of Cow Lane, one mile northeast of Godmanchester.
Godmanchester
Cambridgeshire

OS Map Reference

TL 2639 7149
A static map of Godmanchester Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
59 hectares

Grazing animals

Cattle grazed grasslands

Walking trails

Surfaced and un-surfaced paths, part of the Ouse Valley Way.

Access

Over two miles of wide rides, minor paths, slight gradients, suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Surfaced and unsurfaced paths; The Ouse Valley Way long distance path passes through the reserve.

Dogs

Dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Summer

About the reserve

This beautiful nature reserve south of the River Great Ouse consists of four lakes which are former gravel pits. Interspersed with the lakes are areas of grassland and ancient hedgerows which provide habitats for many birds. Ducks and geese swim on the open water, kingfisher hunt in the streams and songbirds search the hedgerows for food. In winter numbers of grazing wildfowl increase as the resident population is joined by birds migrating south to avoid harsh Arctic winters. 

The reserve is also rich with history. Roman Lake is the site of a Roman well unearthed during quarrying in the 1980s. Mouldings Meadow is named after former brick mouldings; now it’s a great place to spot snipe. Teddy’s Lake was Teddy’s Farm before it was quarried. Numerous gulls and ducks breed on sheltered Island Lake. 

Summer sees an explosion of colour as of the lakes and butterflies soak up the sun. At the base of the hedges and out in the grassland wildflowers bloom, attracting more nectar-feeding invertebrates. Along the old railway line, wildflowers like knapweed bloom. 

We routinely cut back willow around the lakes to maintain the osier coppice and stop encroachment into the lakes. Grazing animals are used to promote wildflowers in the grassland areas and we pollard mature trees to increase their longevity. We restore hedges using the traditional practice of hedgelaying, which invigorates the shrubs and provides a dense nesting area for songbirds. 

We have regular work parties at this nature reserve; visit our website for details. Please note that there is no fishing in the lakes at Godmanchester Nature Reserve. There are fisheries lakes adjacent to the reserve.  

Contact us

Contact number: 01954 713500

Environmental designation

County Wildlife Site