Originally built as a 'balancing lake' for the River Ouzel, Walton Lake is one of the richest spots in Milton Keynes to enjoy wildlife.
Walton Lake was no longer needed to absorb floodwater once Willen and Caldecotte Lakes were created. The lake was allowed to fill with reeds, creating a very different habitat from the open waters of most of the city's other lakes.
In 2002 the Parks Trust, with funding from Shanks First, built a boardwalk into the reedbed. This wonderful route through the reeds is linked to two birdhides, offering fantastic opportunties to see the bird and waterlife really close-up.
It is the combination of habitats that makes Walton Lake so rich in wildlife. Surrounding the reedbed are ponds and open water, ancient hedgerows and hay meadow, plus the River Ouzel running nearby.
Mature reed bed need a lot of management to keep them in optimum condition. If they are neglected trees will start to invade, drying out the reedbeds until eventually the habitat is lost. To prevent this from happening the reedbed at Walton Lake is maintained by Parks Trust volunteers and contractors, regularly cutting back blocks of weed to create a diverse mosaic of open water, and blocks of reed of different heights
A series of information panels have been installed around the park, packed with information about the site. The panels have been jointly funded by Shanks First and the Open University, whose headquarters neighbours Walton Lake.
Each year Walton Lake hosts guided walks to explore the wildlife. Particularly popular are events to see the damsel and dragonfly population.For full programme see our events pages.
Look out for reed warbler, reed buntings and water rail, sparrowhawks, green woodpeckers and breeding kestrels. During the summer months the lakeside hums with insect species such as dragon and damselfly. And Walton Lake has a colony of grass-snakes whose shyness makes them hard to spot elsewhere.
Picnic tables Seating Bridle path Interpretation panels Bird hides
Walton Lake can be found at the southern end of the Ouzel valley between the Newport Road and the River Ouzel, and between the H8 Standing way and H9 Groveway.
The park is open at all times.
There is a free car park on site located off the Newport Road just south of H8 Standing Way.
There are no public toilets on site. The nearest facilities are in nearby pubs.
There are no facilities on site; the nearest shop is in Woughton on the Green, about 10 minutes walk to the north. There are pubs in both Woughton and in Simpson (about the same distance to the south)
Access to the site is generally good and the boardwalks and one hide were carefully built to be accessible to wheel chairs. Some users may find the slope on the west side of the lake to be a bit steep.