Thatcham Reedbeds is one of the largest areas of reedbed in southern England. The reed and scrub is occupied by Reed and Sedge Warblers in summer, and Reed Buntings, Cetti’s Warblers and Water Rails throughout the year.
The Nature Discovery Centre hosts a number of organised events for all the family. In summer, the lake in front of the centre has displaying Great Crested Grebes, a raft for breeding Common Terns and an artificial Sand Martin bank, and may hold late-staying Gadwall or Pochard. In winter the usual wintering wildfowl can be found and Red-crested Pochard may be found at any time of year.
South of the Kennet and Avon canal is Lower Farm Gravel Pit, with a hide managed by the Newbury District Ornithological Society. It attracts a wide range of passage waders and, though still rare, Great White Egret and Spoonbill are more frequent here than elsewhere in Berkshire.
Access: The Discovery Centre car park is off Lower Way (SU 505 672). The path to the hide at Lower Farm can also be reached from the eastern end of Hambridge Lane.
Facilities: toilets and café at the Nature Centre during opening hours. Hide at Lower Farm Lake (SU 498 662).