Linford Lakes Nature Reserve Development

Please note that the Study Centre at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve will be undergoing major refurbishment to improve the building and the facilities it offers. The Nature Reserve remains open for permit holders. If travelling to the reserve by car, the main car park is closed so please use the temporary car park at the side. We apologise for any inconvenience during the Study Centre refurbishment.

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve

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    About Linford Lakes Nature Reserve

    Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, at Great Linford, was established as a wildfowl research centre in 1970 following decades of mineral extraction in the area. Previously known as Hanson Environmental Study Centre, The Parks Trust purchased the site in 2015 and it is now known as Linford Lakes Nature Reserve and Study Centre. The site continues to be used as a nature reserve and a base for environmental education. It is widely regarded as the most biodiverse site in Milton Keynes.

    This site is only open to permit holders - annual permits can be purchased here. Your permit must be carried at all times when visiting the reserve.

    Buy Permit


    The 37 hectare site consists of a large lake, reedbeds, wet woodland and several small meadows interlaced with a number of smaller lakes and ponds. There are bird watching hides located across the site giving fine views of the wildlife and beautiful scenery. The lakes attract a good variety of wildfowl and passage wading birds and breeding birds include Barn Owl, Cuckoo and Common Tern. In early spring, one of the islands supports a thriving heronry and good views can be obtained of Herons and Little Egrets on their nests. In winter, rare visitors include Bittern, Great White Egret and Short Eared Owl. The woodland and meadows support a wide variety of mammals including Water Shrew, Otter, Harvest Mouse and hedgehog and a dedicated group of volunteers studies the mammal populations. Foxes, deer and badgers may sometimes be glimpsed on early morning visits. Linford Lakes is also known for important populations of insects, especially dragonflies and moths.

    Friends of Linford Lakes

    Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve (FoLLNR) consists of permit holders who want to help protect the wildlife and environment of the nature reserve. The Friends Group carry out regular practical conservation tasks as agreed and coordinated with the Parks Trust and organise events and open days at the site. As a permit holder you are always welcome to join the Friends Group even if you cannot partake in the conservation tasks. Find out more about the group here.

    Please note, the FoLLNR Open Sunday events are currently suspended, however there are a range of events taking place with The Parks Trust's Outdoor Learning Team. Find out more in our what's on section.


    Toilets are available in the study centre, these are accessible only during certain events.

    Free parking is available outside the visitor centre for events and permit holders.

    Other Visitor Information

    Please dress appropriately when visiting our Nature Reserve especially during the summer months when insects are likely to be present. 

    Dogs are not permitted on this site (with the exception of assistance dogs).

    Access to Linford Lakes Nature Reserve is via a non-adopted driveway that passes through privately-owned land with no access for the public. Please be considerate when using the driveway and please respect the privacy of our neighbour whilst visiting the Reserve.

    FAQs: Linford Lakes Nature Reserve Permits

    Facilities at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve
    • Parking

    • Bird Hide

    • Permit Required

    How to get here

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