Located in the eastern part of the Cotswold Water Park, this reserve used to be the site of two barren gravel pits, but is now a freshwater haven for all sort of wildlife. Although much of the reserve is out of bounds to protect nesting flocks, great views can be had from the hides. In spring watch great crested grebes do their 'weed dance' courtship and as the summer comes on dragonflies and damselflies are abundant. In winter, overwintering wildfowl are present in large numbers. If you're really lucky you might also see otters, nightingale and bittern. A beautiful tranquil place, this reserve guarantees wildlife all year round.

Location

Between Fairford and Lechlade, close to Whelford
Lechlade
A static map of Whelford Pools

Know before you go

Size
12 hectares

Entry fee

No

Grazing animals

No

Walking trails

There is a nature reserve leaflet and a walk leaflet which includes this reserve available by request, for free, from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

Access

Both hides have access ramps with gradients of less than 10% and wheelchair friendly turning circles. There are some uneven surfaces on the paths.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Located in the eastern part of the Cotswold Water Park, this reserve is situated between Fairford and Lechlade. It used to be the site of two barren gravel pits, but is now a freshwater haven for all sort of wildlife. Although much of the reserve is out of bounds to protect nesting flocks, great views can be had from the hides. You will klikely be rewarded with sights of overwintering pochard, tufted duck, wigeon and great-crested grebe can be seen, along with heron. In the spring and summer dragonflies and damselflies are particularly abundant, and the great grested grebe can be seen doing it's famous 'weed dance' - it's courtship ritual. Common tern visit in the summer, and the occasional bittern has also been seen. Pike and otter use the lakes and sedge warbler, reed bunting and nightingale can be seen - this site offers a tranquil place to take in the scenery and has guaranteed wildlife interest all yer round. This site is part of an SSSI.  

Contact us

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01452 383333

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

How to get there:

Post code:  GL7 4DY

Grid reference: SU 17299 99503

Full directions: Travelling along A417 from either Lechlade or Fairford, turn for Whelford (next to Shell garage) and Whelford Pools is the third turning on the left

Parking Capacity: 12