Nature Reserves

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Adderbury Lakes, North OxfordshireWebsiteStreet MapGoogle Map

Adderbury Lakes
Managed by:Adderbury Parish Council
OS grid reference:SP 476 356
Nearest postcode:OX17 3PE
Usual work:Building dipping platforms, hedgelaying

Adderbury Lakes is a nature reserve that provides a haven for a variety of wildlife in and around the two lakes, the surrounding woods and a mixture of wet and dry areas. The lakes are fed by five springs that join to the North of the top lake. An enclosed bog area allows species to bread undisturbed by humans. The site is popular with locals as well as providing a wonderful location for school children to learn about their local environment.


Initially an ornamental water garden for Adderbury House, the current form of the lakes were created in the early to mid nineteenth century along with features such as an ice house and a boat house that still remain. The house was requisitioned by the War Office in 1939 to be used as sheltered accommodation during World War 2. The lakes were neglected until a cross-council project reclaimed them in 1983 and are now cared for by the Adderbury Parish Council and volunteers as a nature reserve. Although many of the flora are native, there are also examples such as a bamboo that were planted when the garden was ornamental. In November 2011 Adderbury Lakes was designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR)

Flora and Fauna

There are a wide range of native flora at the site, including aconites, bluebells, cotton thistle, charlock, creeping ivy, dead nettle, foxglove, forget-me-not, guelder rose, herb robert, iris, meadow cranesbill, marsh violet, primrose, Queen Anne's lace, ransoms, rosebay willowherb, violets, and wood anemone. Trees that can be found around the lake include European black popular, alder, ash, beech, hazel, maple, oak, sycamore, yew and willow.

A wide variety of birds and mammals inhabit or visit the lake and its surrounding areas. Examples foul include mallard ducks, moorhens, kingfishers, goldcrests, long tailed tits, nuthatchs robins, treecreepers, wrens, and woodpeckers. Pipistrelle bats have been reported during the summer, in addition to frogs, grass snakes, grey squirrels, rabbits, roe deer, moles, voles, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. To the North of the site an old wall provides shelter for invertebrates.

Conservation Management

Conservation management at the site initially consisted of regaining a balance between the various species at what was a very overgrown site. Bird boxes have been erected, pond dipping platforms built, and a sanctuary area created to allow wetland species to breed undisturbed. The paths are also maintained in order to allow public access and encouraging visitors to stick to paths thereby protecting the delicate balance of flora and fauna. In October 2012 de-silting of the lake will restore the depth and diversity of the lake while also enabling the creating of a new wetland area to increase biodiversity of the nature reserve.

OCV will be helping to build dipping platforms for use by local school children to learn more about the environment and species that inhabit the pond. There is also potential for hedgelaying in order to increase the biodiversity and shelter provided at the site for flora and fauna.


Follow the A4260 Banbury Road out of Oxford towards Banbury and continue to follow it through Kidlington and later straight on at the cross roads in Deddington. As you reach Adderbury, take Lake Walk on the right before the Red Lion PH. Follow Lake Walk to the left, ignoring Lambourne Way. There is parking for visitors to the lakes at the corner where the road turns to the left.