Posted: Thursday 26th June 2014 by ASpecialPlaceEachWeek
College Lake (Image: Steve Mendham)
A former chalk quarry, College Lake has been transformed into a thriving centre for wildlife, supporting more than 1,000 species, giving truly memorable wildlife experiences for all the family.
Once an important site for chalk, this old quarry made enough cement to rebuild 12% of London after World War II
Today, the reserve is excellent for spotting fossilised marine life and the bones of mammoths, bears and lions.
In summer, College Lake is one of the few places left in the country where you can enjoy wild cornflower, muave corncockle and deep red pheasant's eye as part of an arable weed project. Started in the 1980s to save traditional cornfield flowers from extinction, each year an amazingly dedicated team of volunteers from Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) collect the seed from last year’s lovely blooms, and then sow them again to be enjoyed the following summer.
For the adventurous, the reserve boats panoramic views of the surrounding farmland and Chiltern hills which has become a beloved spot for many migrating birds.Good trails and plentiful hides give excellent views of common tern, lapwing and redshank. Around the trails, 10 species of orchid can also be found alongside flower rich grassland and butterflies such as the small blue and meadow brown.