Bodenham Lake Walks

Bodenham Lake (image: Herefordshire Council)

Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve is 44.5 hectares (110 acres) of varied habitat including riverside meadows, veteran orchard, newly planted orchard, a 'gravel' area and wet woodland. The lake itself is the largest area of open water in the county.

Birds Foot Trefoil at Bodenham Lake (image: Herefordshire Council)Orchard at Bodenham Lake (image: Herefordshire Council)You can picnic and stroll through beautiful orchards as well as river and lakeside meadows. However, as the lake is an important overwintering and breeding area for birds and other aquatic wildlife, approximately half of the site is managed as a wildlife refuge with restricted public access. A public hide allows you to enjoy views of the birds and other wildlife in the refuge. More than 160 species of birds have been recorded at this important site, while otters also frequent the lake.




Swimming is discouraged due to deep water and underwater hazards. It can also be dangerous for animals to swim in the water at certain times of the year. Please also see "Algae warnings" below.


No fishing is permitted at Bodenham Lake.

Blue-green algae at Bodenham Lake (image: Herefordshire Council)

Algae warnings

During warm, sunny weather there is a risk of potentially toxic algal blooms within the lake. This natural phenomenon occurs due to temperature changes in the water. As the algae decompose, they release a toxin into the water, which may cause a range of symptoms and illness (and possibly death given sufficient exposure or ingestion) in both animals and humans. When warnings are in force, dogs (and any other pets) should be kept on a lead and out of the water. You should also not swim, bathe or fish in the water. Please obey onsite signage.

View from the wildlife hide at Bodenham Lake (image: Herefordshire Council)