Walton lake

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 bird hides, offering fantastic opportunities to see the bird and water life 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 reedbeds 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.

Events
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.

Wildlife
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.

Car parking
There is a free car park on site located off the Newport Road just south of H8 Standing Way.

Toilets
There are no public toilets on site. The nearest facilities are in nearby pubs.

Disabled access
Access to the site is generally good and the boardwalks and one hide were carefully built to be accessible to wheelchairs. Some users may find the slope on the west side of the lake to be a bit steep.

Make a day of it
Walton Lake is part of the Ouzel Valley Park, extending to Willen Lake in the north and Caldecotte Lake in the south.

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Opening Times
The park is open at all times.

Address
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.

Click for directions

  • Tombs Meadow

    Facilities:

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    Tombs Meadow is an agricultural meadow that is regularly used for grazing sheep. It is joined with the Ouse Valley Park on its northern edge, and Millfield on its southern edge. You can walk through Tombs Meadow to both of these other areas of parkland.

    Refreshments
    There are no facilities available on site but the main high street of Stony Stratford is a few minutes’ walk away.

  • Tree Cathedral

    Facilities:

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    Contrary to what many believe, Milton Keynes does have its own cathedral. But like the city itself, this cathedral is unique - made from bark and leaves rather than bricks and mortar.

    Refreshments
    There are no refreshment facilities at Newlands. A cafe and pub restaurant can be found at nearby south Willen Lake.

  • Waterhall Park

    Facilities:

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    Hidden at the very southern corner of Milton Keynes, Waterhall Park is the perfect place to spot wildlife.

    Refreshments
    There are no refreshment facilities at Waterhall Park. The nearest shops and cafes are at Serpentine Court, Fenny Stratford and Queensway, Bletchley.

  • Willen Lake North

    Facilities:

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    Willen Lake North is home to one of Milton Keynes’ best-known landmarks, the first Peace Pagoda to be built in the western world - and to a rich and varied bird population.

    Refreshments
    Nearest refreshments are at the Lakeside Hotel and Cafe (weekends and school holidays) at South Willen Lake. The Camphill Community runs a vegetarian café opposite the main car park.