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.
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.
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.
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.