Know before you go
Parking informationFree car park on site.
Grazing animalsSeasonal grazing by sheep.
You can picnic and stroll through beautiful orchards as well as river and lakeside meadows. There are surfaced and unsurfaced paths with clear signage. To prevent disturbance to sensitive wildlife there is no access to the western end of the reserve but the area can be seen from the public hides.
There are two easy access paths around part of the lake, both originating from the car park.
When to visit
Opening timesDawn to dusk daily
Best time to visitAll year
About the reserve
One of the largest stretches of open water in Herefordshire, covering around 50 acres, Bodenham Lake today is an important overwintering and breeding area for wildfowl and other aquatic wildlife. The lake is designated as a Site of Local Importance and, where the reserve borders the River Lugg, it is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation. More than 170 species of birds have been recorded here while otters are regularly spotted. The lake is also a key breeding site for toads and thousands follow historic migratory routes to the lake each spring. With so much water about, it is also a good site for dragonflies and damsels in the summer, while the meadows and weedy areas are full of butterflies.
Please note: fishing, swimming or water sports are not permitted in the lake outside of authorised activity.
From Hereford, follow the A49 north and turn right to Bodenham village, signposted to The Railway Inn. Once past the pub, the reserve is on the right-hand side a few minutes along this road. If you come to the war memorial, you have gone too far!
The Bodenham Lake Diaries by Wendy Rushton
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