New hide at Lavell’s Lake

New hide at Lavell’s Lake

New hide at Lavell's Lake

The new hide (photo: Ruth Angus)

BOC members and other birdwatchers visiting Lavell?s Lake will be delighted to see the new spacious Tern Hide that became accessible for the first time on Wednesday 8th August.

The original hide, built in 1987 has enabled thousands of birdwatchers to obtain excellent views and take stunning photographs of perching kingfishers, visiting waders including the elusive bittern, water rail and more recently, little egret all of which are becoming regular visitors. During the winter months large numbers of birdwatchers both individually and in club groups converging on the area and cramming into Tern Hide had proved that the old hide has outlasted its usefulness. With the current array of optical equipment from small telescopes to cameras with enormous zoom lenses, finding a place to sit and appreciate the birds had become a problem. But all has changed.

Visitors will see that this is comparable and even superior to many hides situated at celebrated birding locations in the UK. The official opening date has yet to be decided.

The replacement hide, which was a conglomerate idea involving FOLL headed by Fraser Cottington, Dinton Pastures Countryside Parks Department and the contractors, has been financed by the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It is part of a plan of several years in the making, with extensive works on the reed-beds and provision of pathways just some of the many achievements leading up to this icing in the cake! To be able to accommodate more folks keen to get a glimpse of a bittern or two, when they are about, this is a gem of a facility and will surely be a valuable mecca that will be constantly utilised in future years.

However, the plan does not end there! There is a Friends of Lavells Lake member?s only hide at Lea Farm awaiting final planning permission and the date of construction is hoped to be announced shortly. This goes to prove how exciting the world of birding is becoming around these parts of Berkshire.

In all the excitement, we must not forget the numbers of hours volunteers have put in behind the scenes, to get the waterbeds and scrapes up to the standard so desired by our visiting bitterns, water rails and other waterfowl. The Friends of Lavell?s Lake organise work parties on the 4th Sunday of every month and always welcome extra volunteers to lend a hand for a couple of hours on those days. If you can give some time, just come along or phone Fraser Cottington 07855 333616 for information about the tasks in hand. Tea and coffee are provided.

Friends of Lavell?s Lake guided walks are also held for a couple of hours on the 2nd Sunday of the month, starting at 9am and BOC members are regular visitors to the area throughout the year. If you are unfamiliar with the Lavell?s Lake and Lea Farm area, why not call one of the contacts who will put you in touch with a guide.

In the meantime, on behalf of all BOC members and visiting birdwatchers, I would like to thank all those involved in giving us spacious Term Hide II – a place where many peaceful and pleasant hours will be wiled away, all-year round and for years to come. Thank you.

Ruth Angus –

15 August 2007