The Official Tourism Website for Herefordshire

Five Wetlands to visit in Herefordshire

Winter is a marvellous time in our wetlands as migrant birds leave their breeding grounds across Northern Europe and Russia to seek our milder climate in the UK. Ducks, swans and geese are joined by lapwings, green sandpiper, common and jack snipe to over-winter here in Herefordshire.

 Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve

Highlights include great crested and little grebe, tufted duck, goldeneye, wigeon, teal, kingfisher (a shy bird best seen from the two hides) and green sandpiper.

Work carried out in 2019 and 2020 to reprofile the lake’s steep sides and three of the islands has created shallows for the benefit of waders while the creation of a one hectare reedbed attracts birds such as reed warbler and the secretive water rail. The site is particularly good for herons and egrets with five species recorded.

Where: Bodenham, HR1 3JT  SO 529512  ///float.certified.automatic

Lugg Meadows Nature Reserve

When the Lugg Meadows to the east of Hereford flood, the spectacular large lake becomes a hive of activity, attracting roosting gulls and wildfowl. Surface-feeding ducks such as wigeon, shoveler, teal, mallard and goosander visit these floodplains during the winter.  In autumn, migrant waders like greenshank, redshank, black-tailed godwit, snipe, lapwing and common sandpiper use the muddy pools and runnels to rest and feed before resuming their journeys.

Where: Ledbury Road, Tupsley, HR1 1UT  SO 527 411  ///

Titley Pool Nature Reserve

Formed at the end of the last Ice Age, Titley Pool in the west of Herefordshire attracts flocks of wintering duck, particularly wigeon, shoveler, teal, tufted duck, pochard and goosander.

Where: Eywood Lane, Titley, HR5 3RL  SO 325 595  ///stoops.corporate.indoor

The Sturts Nature Reserves

The three reserves that make up The Sturts are subject to regular winter flooding, and one of the best places to see snipe. A regular winter visitor, this wader uses its long, probing bill to find insects, earthworms and crustaceans in the mud. Also seen over the winter are large flocks of meadow pipit, redwing, starling and fieldfares.  If the A438 is closed at Letton, chances are the Sturts will be flood so it’s worth checking before you go.

Where: Letton, HR3 6NY  SO 338 482  ///fruity.takes.trackers

Wellington Gravel Pits

An important site for winter wildfowl and waders. Though this is not a nature reserve, public rights of way pass through affording good bird watching opportunities. Situated a few miles south of Bodenham Lake, the site attracts greater numbers of pochard, teal and gadwall. Spectacular starling murmurations have been seen here some years.

Where: Four miles north of Hereford, on the A49, site entrance is at SO507483 ///liquid.fidgeting.burst. Go to porta-cabin adjoining weighbridge and book in. There is a hide by the main lake.

Visit Herefordshire Wildlife Trust for further information on the work they do and places to visit in Herefordshire.

Main image credit Gillian Day