Cotswold Water Park

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Cotswold Water park Picture

Cotswold Water Park - geograph.org.uk - 22175

Cotswold Water Park

Cotswold Water Park

The Cotswold Water Park is the United Kingdom's largest marl lake system. The lakes were created over the last 50 years by extraction of glacial Jurassic limestone gravel,which had eroded from the Cotswold Hills, and these filled naturally after working ceased in the early 1970s.
Cleveland Lakes Reserve
Cleveland Lakes Reserve is made up of two of the Cotswold Water Park's larger lakes (Lake 68a/b and Lake 74) as well as the Waterhay Reedbed (Lake 68c/d). It includes 2.5 km (1.6 miles) of permissive footpath and cycleway as well as three bird viewing hides, and is an important site for breeding and wintering birds such as coot, great crested grebe, gadwall, tufted duck, little egret and grey heron. Its shallow scrapes and lagoons also attract several less common species of wader including great white egret, glossy ibis and pectoral sandpiper. A viewing screen, known locally as Twitchers' Gate, gives views across to the scrapes from the road out of Cerney Wick. New reedbeds have been created at the eastern end of the reserve, and the associated reed hide allows views across the reedbed to the wooded heronry. Additional wildlife species of note for this reserve include otter, water vole, grass snake, slow worm, water rail, black-headed gull and bittern. Free car parking for this reserve is at Waterhay Car Park next to the River Thames at Leigh.

Coke's Pit Lake (grid reference SU027953) is a 3.2-hectare (7.9-acre) site. It was excavated 40 years ago, was given to the Cotswold Water Park Trust in 2002 and was declared a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in 2003. It is about half a mile (0.8 km) east of Somerford Keynes. The reserve was one of the oldest gravel workings in the upper Thames Valley. The extraction of the First Terrace Pleistocene gravels left behind an unusually deep lake, which is sealed by beds of Kellaway clay.

It is a breeding site for birds including reed bunting, tufted duck, black-headed gull and great crested grebe. Water vole, water shrew and nightingale pictured ,and large numbers of dragonflies are recorded for the site.

Shorncote Reedbed
Shorncote Reedbed is at the north east corner, towards South Cerney (Lakes 84 and 85). It is designed to attract wetland birds, and has several linear islands which maximise the area of available reed fringe. Bittern, reed bunting, water rail, snipe and reed warbler are recorded as visiting this refuge. There have also been sightings of otter and water vole. There are two bird hides. The footpath to the reserve from South Cerney is subject to frequent flooding from the adjacent Cerney Wick Brook and rising ground waters. Wikipedia

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