Langford Lakes Nature Reserve
by Peter Hanscomb
Langford Lakes nature reserve comprises four lakes , a stretch of the river Wylye and a water meadow was purchased by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust in 2001. The lakes and surrounding land was the site of a former gravel works during the 1960s / 1970s and the process of removing the gravel left behind holes that filled with water and were initially turned into a commercial fishery. Since acquiring the lakes The Trust have created islands, ponds and wader scrapes that provide habitat for birds such as redshank and sandpiper that probe the mud for food. The 800m stretch of Wylye River has been designated a Special Area of Conservation. In 2012 the Trust transformed a neighbouring field into the Great Meadow wetland. The site now covers nearly 32 hectares and includes several hides and a visitor / education centre.
Langford Lakes is fully accessible and suitable for both buggies and wheelchairs with well maintained flat paths to all the hides except one opposite the visitor centre.The visitor centre has a pop up cafe and decent well maintained toilets. The onsite carpark is a short level walk to the first lake and visitor centre. Access to one of the hides opposite the visitor centre does involve a level but muddy walk of around ten minutes. Dogs are not allowed on this site.
Langford Lakes are Just off the A36 Salisbury to Warminster road, follow signs for The Langfords. In Steeple Langford turn into Duck Street. Reserve entrance is on the left once you have crossed the river. If you want to take the bus from either Bath or Salisbury you need to use the no 265 bus. Nearest bus stop is in Steeple Langford 500m from the reserve.
Langford Lakes Nature Reserve, Duck street , Steeple Langford, SP3 4PA
What’s there to see.
Langford Lakes nature reserve is a great place for bird watching and photography . The lakes provide stopping off point and resident habitat for around 150 different bird species. With five hides overlooking the lakes you might see some rarities, such as osprey , kingfisher, water rail and gadwall. Song bird enthusiasts are well catered for with one of the five hides dedicated to passerines with a well stocked bird feeding station , attracting blue tits, great tits, robins, nuthatch and blackbirds.
In spring watch for great-crested grebes shaking their heads in courtship. Reed warbler, waders and terns drop in on their summer migration. As winter advances shoveler and wigeon join the other ducks present all year round and occasionally the endangered and bittern pays a visit.
Photograph © Graham Stewart
Message from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
Our vision is to create a county rich in wildlife and help people live sustainable lifestyles that protect the environment for the benefit of everyone.
We have about 18,000 members, look after almost 40 nature reserves, are supported by hundreds of volunteers, and work with local communities, schools, businesses and public bodies to achieve our aims. To do all this we rely on the support of our members.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Ltd. Elm Tree Court, Long Street, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1NJ. Telephone (01380) 725670 firstname.lastname@example.org
Images taken at Langford Lakes