Bosherston Lily Ponds - Freshwater magic walk
An easy walk around Bosherston's beautiful lily ponds, with options to explore the dunes and pools of the Mere Pool Valley behind Broadhaven beach. The walk is mostly along even gravel paths with two narrow causeways. This walk is rich in wildlife all year round.
Bosherston Lily Ponds car park, grid ref: SR966948
From the car park turn left and follow the path to the lake. Turn left.
Bosherston Lily Ponds
The ponds at Bosherston were part of the landscape designed as a setting for Stackpole Court.
Cross the western arm of the lake by the Bosherston causeway. The waterlilies are at their best in June and July, but the lakes and lakeside woodlands are full of wildlife all year round.
In early summer there are hundreds of waterlilies in flower on the lake.
Follow the path up to the limestone bluff. Look down into the clear water to see the billowing green mats of rare stonewort, and if you're lucky a pike waiting in ambush. A path through the bushes to your left leads up to the Fishpond Camp, an old coastal fort built 3,000 years ago when the lakes were a tidal inlet.
Continue down to the central causeway and cross it. From April to September look for dragonflies and damselflies, with swallows and house martins skimming overhead.
In winter look out for goldeneye - diving ducks which spend the winter on the central arm of the lakes.
Turn right at the next junction and descend to the Grassy Bridge. When the lakes were first created in the 1780s this was the barrier between lake and sea - the final dam wasn't built until 1860.
When there is a very high tide the sea water is higher than the lakes behind the dam.
Continue towards the sea. In winter you may be lucky enough to see (and hear) a bittern. Listen out too for the pig-like squeals of water rails, secretive water birds that live in the reeds
In summer the reedbed on your right is full of chattering reed warblers and sedge warblers.
Cross over the lake outlet by a narrow stone bridge (take care in flip-flops) and continue right up the lakeside path towards Bosherton. You can also continue onto the beach, bearing right to explore the wildlife of the Mere Pool Valley.
Mere Pool Valley
This is a great place to see dragon and damselflies.
Return to the car park by the western arm path, stopping often to enjoy the wildlife. You may even see an otter.
Otters at Stackpole
Otters are very shy creatures. You need to be very quiet - and lucky - to see a family group.
Bosherston Lily Ponds car park - grid ref SR 966948
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