Nature inspires Lake artists
NEXT week the local Wildlife Trust is welcoming the College Lake Artists as they put on a colourful display in their Christmas fair.
The Bucks Open Studios artists and makers have chosen the brightest and most inspiring paintings, photographs, jewellery, textiles and ceramics to liven up grey winter days.
Come and see them from Friday, December 4 to Sunday, December 6, with a late night special opening up to 8pm, on the Saturday.
Louisa Stobbs, one of the group, is looking forward to revisiting the nature reserve.
She said: “We’re delighted to be back at College Lake. Six wonderful artists and makers are showcasing their vibrant new work, all of which is for sale and would make ideal Christmas presents. We donate a percentage of all sales to College Lake.”
There is art all around the nature reserve, with vivid murals of birds in many of the hides. There are special vantage points for keen photographers who come to College Lake specifically to photograph the wildlife, especially the birds that visit during the winter.
The nature reserve that we see today is an extraordinary tribute to the vision of the first volunteers, who discovered plants and butterflies among the quarrying bulldozers and cement-making machinery when this site was a working quarry.
Thanks to a joint project between Castle Cement Ltd and the Wildlife Trust, and the vision and determination of Graham Atkins, who was a lorry driver with the cement company and a keen ecologist, College Lake supports more than 1,000 species of wildlife.
It is also widely regarded as one of the best places in Buckinghamshire for water birds, which enjoy
Wendy Tobitt of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust previews a colourful new exhibition at College Lake nature reserve
the diversity of habitats including shallow muddy pools, islands in the lake, marshes and ditches.
Winter is a particularly good time to visit as the lake becomes home to visiting wildfowl that fly in from the colder European continent.
When you visit to see the College Lake Artists, please take half an hour to walk around the lake, visiting the hides to get a closer view of the birds.
Already we’ve heard the whistling of wigeon and seen the teal, a small duck notable for its distinctive vertical take-off from the water and abrupt changes of direction as they fly away at speed.
A male sparrowhawk, a beautifully-coloured bird of prey, dropped in recently to check out College Lake. The bird’s deep apricot-coloured chest feathers contrasted with the slate grey-blue of its body and wings, and bright yellow legs! Thank you to volunteer Graeme Kennedy for taking this photograph.
College Lake is a haven for photographers, offering them an opportunity to see unusual birds and take beautifully artistic pictures of swans, lapwings, ducks and geese.
Why not rediscover your inner artist with a visit to College Lake this winter!
Drop in to meet the College Lake Artists over the first weekend in December and remember to bring your camera and take wonderful shots of wildlife as birds visit the nature reserve, swimming on the lake, diving for food and dabbling in the shallows. If the weather is less than kind, then drop into the café for a reviving hot drink and mince pie!
Go to www.bbowt.org. uk/collegelake to find out more about the nature reserve, including opening times this winter.
Go to www.collegelake artists.weebly.com to see works by the artists.
Works of art: (Clockwise from above left) Sparrowhawk pictured by Graeme Kennedy; a Louisa Stobbs picture; flowers by Shirley Jones;
Catherine Smith’s piece