Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The local

No, not a pub, but my local patch, or place just up the road from me where I can go and escape for a bit, watch some birds and take some pictures. It’s called Caldecote Lake, and I did a bit of research about it a while ago. Mainly because I was curious, and wanted to know a bit about it. Seemed only right; after all, it gives me a lot of pleasure, so I felt I should know a bit about it.

Well, Caldecotte is a district in the parish of Walton, Milton Keynes that includes the site of an ancient village of the same name. The place name, is apparently a fairly common name in England, and is Old English meaning "cold cottage". This refers to a resting place for travellers or other strangers on the road.
The excavation of Caldecotte Lake unearthed the fossilised remains, of an Ichthyosaur, approximately 150 million years old. The same area also provided signs of early human activity when gravel deposits exposed by the construction of the lake produced evidence of the manufacture of flint tools around 6000 BC.

Caldecotte Lake, was completed in 1984, and is the second largest after Willen Lake, at 108 acres, with the distance around round both north and south lakes of about 4.2km.
Grassy slopes, trees, shrubs, reeds and even small wooded areas; it’s got it all.

A popular place for joggers, fishermen and dog walkers alike, with a Water Sports Centre on the east shore of the south lake, which is home to MK Sailing Club, and MK Rowing Club.
A development of four-storey townhouses, (Grafham Terrace), and the new Derwent House development by McCann Homes sit on the southeast shore, overlooking the lake.
The town houses
Further down from the Water Sports Centre, the office park, developed by Highclare Properties Ltd in 2000, is set within a 12 acre landscaped site overlooking the lake.
The office park
Arguably the Lakes most well known feature is The Caldecotte Arms. Built in 1992, it has been constructed in the style of a tithe barn with a windmill made with authentic parts from Holland. This popular family-dining pub is on three levels and outside there is a large beer garden and children’s play area.

Caldecote Arms
With all this human activity going on, it would be a reasonable assumption to say that the wildlife would be fairly scarce. How wrong. In just over a year, that I’ve kept notes, I’ve seen a modest 63 different species to date.

A large colony of Cormorant enjoy the safety of an island on the south lake throughout the year; Mute Swans and Great Crested Grebe breed round the shores of the lake, Reed and Sedge Warbler sing in the reed beds, a Bittern has made an appearance this year, (a first), Kingfishers hang out in their regular spots, and Canada Geese are always in abundance along the grassy slopes in front of The Caldecotte Arms. And if the children get tired of the play area, there are always the ducks, (along with the Swans, Geese and Seagulls), to relieve them of the sliced bread offered.

In late summer, a plethora of butterflies feeding on the swathes of wild flowers, and Dragonflies skimming along the waters edge.
That’s why I like Caldecotte Lake. A wildlife haven on my doorstep.
In the words of Confucius, Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.

This is how I see it.


Part of the main dam, north lake

The river Ouzel


  1. It looks a great area. I imagine that the lakes would attract good numbers of terns in the summer?

  2. Hiya Graham, yea, there's some fairly good numbers of Terns through the summer, and even more up the road at Willen Lake.

  3. Looks a great local Keith :) Like the sunset pic especially.

  4. Thanks Tricia. Can't wait to get round there again on my next day off work. Hope the weather keeps dry.

  5. Keith, I've just dropped in via The Old Grouse & enjoyed the look around your 'local'. I only wish I had a decent stretch of water very close to home.
    Congrats on the Buzzard photos on your earlier post - I'm obviously going to have to practice a lot. Cheers, Frank

  6. Thanks for dropping by Frank, and your comment, appreciated.
    I'd love to get a decent shot of a Buzzard on the ground, but for now I'm happy with low fly overs. :)