Lugg Wetland Gem: Delivering the Nutrient Management Plan


Herefordshire Wildlife Trust are delighted to have secured funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and European Regional Development Fund for their project  at Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve running in 2017-2019.

Cancellation Notice for Tender of Installation of floating islands at Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve

For the above documents and related information, please click here.


Bodenham Lake, formed by the extraction of gravel is the largest water body in Herefordshire. The Lake is crucial for breeding otter and wildfowl and has long been a favourite amongst wildlife


The creation of a Reedbed

As the lake was originally dug as a gravel pit, the banks are very steep, stopping wetland plants growing. This project will focus on key aspects of restoration to create a true wildlife haven at this reserve in the heart of the Lugg Valley.

In 2018 we moved thousands of tonnes of soil to re-profile 3 steep sided areas of the lake, creating 1 hectare of shallower banks. In 2019 we will plant reed plants (Phragmites) to allow reedbed to develop.

Reedbed is a priority habitat under the UK biodiversity action plan, as it is one of the most threatened and in need of conservation action. Reed bed habitat is essential for many iconic wetland species including bearded tits, bitterns and reed warblers but is becoming increasingly scarce across the UK.

This is one of 3 reedbed creation areas at Bodenham Lake.

  • Before ground works started; the edge of lake was steep and densely tree lined, stopping plants like common reed being able to grow
  • After ground works; contractors JPR Environmental moved ~30,000 tonnes of soil to make shallow waters, pools and islands suitable for a reedbed and the wildlife that lives in it to thrive. 


Wildlife surveys

Reptile Surveying by Paul CooperLocal volunteer groups are being trained in surveying skills to enable them to survey, and monitor wildlife at the Lake. Key surveys include reptile, otter and toads.

If you are interested in joining the survey groups, please contact Sophie Cowling on 01432 356872 /

Led by Wendy Rushton volunteers have also been using trail cameras to monitor wildlife, including elusive species such as water rail, since 2017.


Wildlife Diary by Wendy Rushton

Wendy has been filming, photographing and documenting the wildlife at the lake through 2017 and 2018.

Click here to read her fantastic wildlife diaries and find out more about the flora and fauna at the lake.


Installing artificial islands

In areas in which it is not financially viable to re-profile, due to the depth of the lake we will install 300m2 of floating man-made floating islands, planted with native wetland plant species or lined with gravel for ground nesting birds to provide habitat.

The vegetated islands will improve the aquatic habitat, provide shelter for fish and improve water quality. Floating 'nesting platforms' provide a predator free area for endangered species such as oyster catcher to successfully breed.


Osprey Platform


Osprey are seen passing over Bodenham Lake as part of their migration every year. There are only 200-250 breeding pairs in the UK, most of which are in Scotland. The combination of the close proximity or the River Lugg and the density of Lakes makes the floodplain of the River Lugg ideal for Osprey.
In Spring 2018 we installed an osprey nesting platform in the restricted area of the Nature Reserve. Fingers crossed we see osprey at the Lake in coming years!  


A new bird hide was installed at the Southern side of the Lake in 2016. The hide adjoins one of the re-profile areas, which we are establishing a reedbed in. The hide will allow people to see the wildlife this new habitat attracts first-hand.
The hide was made possible by kind donation of Herefordshire Ornithological Club and a donation in memorium.
The public can also learn about the wildlife of the Lugg Valley through new interpretation and signage around the site and in the bird hides.


For families & schools

For younger visitors, a new pond-dipping pool and platform has been created at the reserve which will be available for families and schools to explore pond life at close quarters!
We are running schools and WildPlay sessions, that are lake and wetland habitat themed. Educational sessions are linked to the national curriculum for KS1 – KS2. Sessions will include pond dipping and other practical wildlife focused activities.

Provision of a Teachers pack will include follow up seasonal activities to do at the lake, advice on the creation of wetland habitats in school grounds and advice on long term management.

Schools should contact Engagement Manager Katrina Preston for more information on 01432 530088 /


We want people to be at the heart of our heritage conservation activities and there will be events happening throughout the project for people to find out more about how the project is progressing and enjoy this beautiful site.

A public launch of the project was held in summer 2017 and throughout the project we will run guided walks and events.

Please check our Events pages and Facebook page for up to date information.


Many thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund & European Regional Development Fund for supporting this project.


National Lottery Heritage Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.  

European Regional Development Fund
The project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit


For more information, please contact Lower Lugg Valley Landscape Officer Sophie Cowling on 01432 356872 /

BBC Countryfile

Our project featured on BBC Countryfile on 30th September 2018!