This beautiful nature reserve is on the site of a former Victorian estate. The lakes and woodland, once part of a formal garden, now provide a range of habitats for wild birds, animals and plants.

Please make sure you read our advice for visitors and check the details of your destination online before you set off. Please respect other people and protect the natural environment. Remember that your actions can affect people’s lives and livelihoods. Take the time to read signage and respect the measures that local authorities and site management have put in place to help ensure social distancing.

More visitor advice

The Otterhead Local Nature Reserve is set around two lakes of the former landscaped gardens of Otterhead House (1817-1952).  The estate was developed in Victorian times and by 1890 included over 1700 acres of land.

A range of semi-natural habitats make up the reserve including wet woodland, dry deciduous woodland, grassland, and freshwater streams and ditches.

Dormice, badgers and bat species occur in the woodland. The lakes support bird species including kingfisher, dipper and wagtail

Nesting birds are present, so please keep your dog on a lead at all times.

The entrance to the carpark is just around the corner from Otterhead Church.

There is a circular route around the Reserve which is mostly flat, although there is a gradual slope from the car park down to the lakes and a steep section of a few metres half-way round. Bear in mind that some of the pathways are a little bumpy and, at times, can get quite muddy.

Be aware that some of the permissive paths on the Otterhead Estate have become overgrown during lockdown so please watch out for brambles and other plants that can be a scratch and trip hazard.

Please also be mindful of the wildlife living around the lakes. The adder, the UK’s only venomous snake, lives here. Adders will only bite people or dogs in self defence or if startled, but tread carefully nevertheless. The site is also home to birds that nest on the ground so please avoid disturbing them and keep your dog on a lead.

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