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Godmanchester Nature Reserve

Habitat works are being periodically carried out across the site. Please follow any on-site signage and diversions around affected areas – we thank you for your assistance.

A rich mixture of flooded gravel pits, grassland, reedbed and willows

This beautiful nature reserve south of the River Great Ouse consists of four lakes which are former gravel pits. Interspersed with the lakes are areas of grassland and ancient hedgerows which provide habitats for many birds. Ducks and geese swim on the open water, kingfisher hunt in the streams and songbirds search the hedgerows for food. In winter numbers of grazing wildfowl increase as the resident population is joined by birds migrating south to avoid harsh Arctic winters. 

The reserve is also rich with history. Roman Lake is the site of a Roman well unearthed during quarrying in the 1980s. Mouldings Meadow is named after former brick mouldings; now it’s a great place to spot snipe. Teddy’s Lake was Teddy’s Farm before it was quarried. Numerous gulls and ducks breed on sheltered Island Lake. 

Summer sees an explosion of colour as of the lakes and butterflies soak up the sun. At the base of the hedges and out in the grassland wildflowers bloom, attracting more nectar-feeding invertebrates. Along the old railway line, wildflowers like knapweed bloom. 

We routinely cut back willow around the lakes to maintain the osier coppice and stop encroachment into the lakes. Grazing animals are used to promote wildflowers in the grassland areas and we pollard mature trees to increase their longevity. We restore hedges using the traditional practice of hedgelaying, which invigorates the shrubs and provides a dense nesting area for songbirds. 

We have regular work parties at this nature reserve; visit our website for details. Please note that there is no fishing in the lakes at Godmanchester Nature Reserve. There are fisheries lakes adjacent to the reserve.  



Supported by the National Lottery through  the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.




Nearby nature reserves

Houghton Meadows
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Brampton Wood
5 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Raveley Wood
7 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

At the end of Cow Lane, one mile northeast of Godmanchester.
Map reference
TL 2639 7149
Great for...
overwintering birds
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
59.00 hectares
County Wildlife Site
Living Landscape schemes
Ouse Valley
Over two miles of wide rides, minor paths, slight gradients. Surfaced and unsurfaced paths; The Ouse Valley Way long distance path passes through the reserve.
Walking information
Surfaced and unsurfaced paths, part of the Ouse Valley Way.
Park on Cow Lane, Godmanchester. Park in the layby on right before small railway bridge.
Dogs under effective control
Grazing animals
Grazed with cattle and ponies
Reserve manager
Tel: 01954 713500


Factsheets and guides for your visit