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Buckland Court

Cotswolds, England

Cotswold Water Park

Posted by Luci Ackers on Mar 22, 2016
Cotswold Water Park
Cotswold Water Park
  • Cotswold Water Park
  • Cotswold Water Park
  • Image © Copyright Brian Robert Marshall and licensed for reuse
  • Cotswold Water Park


The Cotswold Water Park is located just south of Cirencester on the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire border. It's not the type of water park with flumes and wave machines as the name might suggest, this is a wildlife haven, created amongst a habitat of gentle countryside.

The water park is the largest of its kind in the UK. It's a marl system which means there is a large amount of calcium carbonate and it's an ideal environment for a range of creatures and birdlife. The area is comprised of a number of nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest and it has been formed over the past 50 years when the removal of Jurassic limestone allowed multiple lakes to fill naturally with water. Now the water park is protected for the extensive wildlife that is supported throughout a range of habitats.

The Cotswold Water Park Trust works in association with the Wildlife Trusts to protect the land, provide recreational activities and work with local communities. It is roughly 40 square miles and includes 150 different lakes, several villages and a whole host of walking routes, bridleways and cycle paths. Here you can enjoy whatever water sports take your fancy; hire a boat to better explore, go canoeing or even try windsurfing!

Certain areas have been kept quiet and untouched for nature. These are particularly good areas for keen birdwatchers; with such a diverse wetland, you're sure to see a significant range of wintering and breeding birds, waders and wildfowl. Keep a look out for egret, bittern, black-headed gull, coot, great crested grebe, teal, tufted duck and heron, amongst all sorts of others.

With everything from reedbed and marsh, to wildflower meadow and limestone streams, there's enough biodiversity to satisfy all nature lovers. Water voles and otters are prevalent, so see if you can spot any in the more sheltered reedy areas. Lime-rich lakes mean an abundance of important aquatic plant life and you might even be lucky enough to spot a grass snake.


This is a really popular area for those into a bit of nature watching, anyone looking to have a walk or a cycle amid spectacular scenery, or even those of you who are after something a little more exhilarating. At just under an hour's journey from Buckland Court, this is a great place for a day out. Take a look at the website to find out more about what there is to do here

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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