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Chew Valley Lake
View of Herons Green
for wintering wildfowl and waders

Chew Valley Lake is well known for its birds, including internationally important numbers of wildfowl. The Trust reserve is at the southern end of the site and is managed in partnership with Bristol Water.

What to look out for

Breeding birds include great crested and little grebe, gadwall, tufted duck, shoveler and pochard. Hobbies often feed over the area in late summer. When the water level falls, the mud attracts waders such as dunlin, ringed plover and green sandpipers.

Summer sees large populations of dragonflies hunting over the water. These include ruddy darters and, later in the summer, migrant hawkers. Wintering wildfowl include important numbers of shoveler, gadwall, teal and tufted duck. Goosander, great crested grebe and cormorant also occur in large amounts.

The reedbeds are a vital autumn feeding station for reed and sedge warblers prior to their migration. The winter gull roost is a spectacular sight with up to 50,000 or more, mostly of black-headed, common and Mediterranean gull.

Chew Valley Lake often attracts rare birds, including osprey, the scarcer grebes, and an American wader or duck appears most years.

Further information

There is a visitor centre and cafe run by Bristol Water at the picnic site near the dam.
The Birds of Chew Valley Lake website contains frequently updated news and information on its birds and wildlife, access, maps, and the definitive Chew bird list!


Hides with permit only, obtainable from Bristol Water Recreation Department, Woodford Lodge.


  Getting there by
Bike View a location map of the reserve on the National Cycle Network website.
Public transport Go to www.traveline.org.uk

The section of the lake that the Trust helps Bristol Water to manage is Herriot's Pool which lies either side of Herriott's Bridge where the A368 crosses the Lake. Park on the layby on either side of the road, and you can enjoy the views and wildlife on the lake.

Further information
Reserves in this area
Look for...


Migrant hawker

Rich Andrews

Greater crested grebe

Arthur Grosset

reserve map
reserve map
Reserve map National Cycle Network
Location details
Grid ref
ST 570 582
Area 83.5 hectares
Nearest postcode to reserve BS40 6HN
(0.494 km from grid reference)