There can be no gripes over snipes
BUNDLING up in my new scarf and lacing up my walking boots gives me the boost of warmth and excitement I need to go out and explore nature reserves, and I hope that you do too!
January is a marvellous time to turn your attention (and your feet!) towards College Lake. When you arrive at the reserve check the noticeboard in the Visitor Centre for the latest bird sightings, and ask the BBOWT volunteers which hides have the best views.
Now the winter wildfowl are comfortably in situ, this is a good time to take a restorative amble to spot the resident and visiting species. Stop for a few moments in one of the 11 lake-side hides to watch the birds pottering about, feeding, flying and gliding in their natural elements.
College Lake warden Owain Hegarty recommends watching the waders at the lake’s edge. “I love watching snipe at this time of year. They’re stripey brown wading birds that love puddling about in the muddy margins, using their long bills to probe the wet soil for insects.”
It’s not just the wonderful species that draw visitors here, says Visitor Centre manager Toyah Baulk. “The Outlook Inn situated opposite the Barn offers a fantastic hands-on experience for children and adults alike.
“There are plenty of treasures to be found in there including fossils, animal skeletons and other wonderfully weird artefacts from a fascinating variety of native UK species.”
There’s always a warm welcome, hot drinks, cakes and snacks in the café, with its floor to ceiling windows looking onto the reserve.
A bracing walk, stunning views, and the opportunity for a tasty lunch will hopefully give your energy levels the boost they might need in the New Year too!
The Visitor Centre at College Lake is open from 9.30am to 4pm and the café serves food and hot drinks from 9.30am to 3pm.
Visit bbowt.or.uk/whats-on to book for walks and other events.