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One of the five lakes on site

Swanwick Lakes NNR


Kingfishers are seen regularly


Mating Common Blue Damselflies


Mature Male Broad-bordered Chaser


Small Skippers mating in the meadows

Common Spotted Orchids Butser Hill June

The site is owned by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight  Wildlife trust and is 70 acres or 28 hectares in size.


Swanwick Lakes, once a clay pit for a local brick works, is now a beautiful oasis for nature in an otherwise urban area. A mixture of woodland, lakes and meadows attracts a large array of species.

The majority of the site is woodland, and during the spring it comes alive with bird song and woodpecker drumming as a multiplicity of birds settle down to nest. Rare species such as marsh tits also thrive at this reserve. There has also been the rare Nightingale recorded on site in the scrubby woodland areas.

Come summer the meadows are in full bloom; they hum and buzz with thousands of insects. All the summer Skipper butterflies can be seen here in the meadows, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, and Large Skipper. North East Meadow is adorned with orchids and Knapweed, as well as Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper butterflies. In the woodlands elusive White Admiral, Purple Emperor and Silver-Washed Fritillary butterflies flit between the trees.


The lakes and ponds around the site are prime locations for dragonflies and damselflies, including unusual species such as the Downy Emerald, It is also the home of rare Newts. 


The site has an excellent educational facility where children can come and learn about the natural environment, and a number of public events happen throughout the year. Find out more information about Swanwick Lakes Education Centre

Common Spotted Orchids

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