Lugg Wetland Gem

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust are delighted to have secured funding from the Heritage Lottery and European Regional Development Fund for their project beginning at Bodenham Lake nature reserve this spring.

Bodenham Lake has long been a favourite amongst wildlife lovers and this project is set to create a true wildlife haven at this reserve in the heart of the Lugg Valley. Over two years, the project will focus on key aspects of restoration as well as providing more facilities for wildlife watchers of all ages.

Bodenham Lake, formed by the extraction of gravel is the largest water body in Herefordshire. It is crucial for breeding otter and wildfowl. However, the value of Bodenham Lake as a nature reserve is limited by the habitat; aquatic vegetation grows in very small quantities as the Lake is steep sided and extremely deep. 

Re-profiling the lake

The project aims to enhance the biodiversity value of the Lake. The planned restoration work includes re-profiling areas of the lake’s steep sides, creating shallower banks to allow aquatic plants to grow, and create habitat for wading birds to feed in. In some of the re-profile areas we hope to plant common reed (Phragmites) in order to establish a reedbed, a nationally scarce habitat which supports a wealth of wildlife including many iconic wetland species such as bearded tits, bitterns and reed warblers.

Installing an artificial island and nesting platform

In areas in which it is not financially viable to re-profile, due to the depth of the lake we hope to install 200m2 of floating man-made floating islands, planted with native wetland plant species or lined with gravel for ground nesting bird bio-matrix to provide habitat. The vegetated bio-matrix will improve the aquatic habitat, provide shelter for fish and improve water quality.
Floating 'nesting platforms' provide a predator free area for endangered species such as Lapwing to successfully breed.

Osprey are seen passing over Bodenham Lake as part of their migration every year. There are only 200-250 breeding pairs in the UK, most of which are in Scotland. The combination of the close proximity or the River Lugg and the density of Lakes makes the floodplain of the River Lugg ideal for Osprey. Installing osprey platforms will encourage passing ospreys to nest.


Installing a new bird hide, donated by the Herefordshire Ornithological Club, on the other side of the lake will enable people to see and enjoy the new habitats, and the species they attract first-hand. The public can also learn about the wildlife of the Lugg Valley through new interpretation and signage around the site and in the bird hide.

For families & schools

For younger visitors, a new pond-dipping pool and platform will be created at the reserve which will be available for families and schools to explore pond life at close quarters! 

Schools and WildPlay lake and wetland habitat themed educational sessions will be linked to the national curriculum for KS1 – KS2. Sessions will include pond dipping and other practical wildlife focused activities. Provision of a Teachers pack will include follow up seasonal activities to do at the lake, advice on the creation of wetland habitats in school grounds and advice on long term management. Schools should contact Engagement Officer, Hayley Herridge for more information on 01432 530088 / 07341 736186 /

Wildlife surveys

Local volunteer groups will be trained in surveying skills to enable them to survey, monitor and maintain the lakes. The Lugg Living Landscape area has a number of highly invasive species, as part of this project we hope to minimise the threat posed by American signal crayfish and American mink.

If you are interested in joining the survey groups, please contact Sophie Cowling on 01432 356872 /


We want people to be at the heart of our heritage conservation activities and there will be events happening throughout the project for people to find out more about how the project is progressing and enjoy this beautiful site.

A public launch of the project will be held during summer 2017, throughout the project we will run guided walks and in summer 2018 a celebration event.

Please check our Events pages and Facebook page for up to date information.


Many thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Development Fund for supporting this project.


Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

European Regional Development Fund
The project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit


For more information, please contact Lower Lugg Valley Landscape Officer Sophie Cowling on 01432 356872 /


The presentation about the project plans, first presented in 2016




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