Testwood Lakes
Not far from the urban area of Southampton the Testwood Lakes is one of Hampshire's newest nature reserves. Developed from a gravel extraction site owned by Southern Water the 150 acre nature reserve has a variety of countryside habitats including fields of wild flowers. The reserve has a series of gravel paths around the lakes and you will normally see plenty of dog walkers (restricted access), picnickers and bird watchers.

The northern end of the nature reserve has been designed to re-create wetland habitats for a variety of birds. There are two bird hides, one of which has good views of the Sand Martin nesting area.

The reserve is managed by several Reserves Officers and a team of dedicated volunteers, that also survey the wildlife around the reserve.

During excavation of Meadow Lake a Bronze Age rapier and a piece of an ancient bridge was discovered c1500BC both of which are now exhibited in the Education Centre. Other artefacts can be found at the Totton and Eling Heritage Centre.

To celebrate the discoveries, staff, volunteers and local school children constructed a Round House. Oak posts were brought in from Royden Woods in the New Forest together with 48 Ash and Alder rafters. The walls were made using hazel wattle and daub.
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All year
The car park is open daily from 8am to 6pm (4pm winter). The bird hides are open from 10am to 4pm. Testwood Lakes Centre is open Mon to Fri 9am to 4pm and Sunday 12noon to 3pm and most Saturdays 12noon to 3pm.
Testwood Lakes is owned by Southern Water and managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Tel:023 8066 7929

  More pictures
Testwood Lakes - Sand Martins Sand Martins
Sand Martin hide
Buried in the mud at Meadow Lake, a Bronze Age rapier c1500BC
Bronze Age roundhouse reconstruction
Turn off the M27 at Junction 2 and take the A326 and then the A36 towards Totton. Streetmap
Free parking, see map on the right.
Refreshments are available on Sundays only from 12noon to 3pm at the Education Centre.
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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust hold many events during the year including many at the Testwood Lakes.
Testwood Lakes
Testwood Lakes map
Disabled toilet is available in the Education Centre.
Pathways are accessible for prams and wheelchairs. Certain areas are open to dog walkers, others are restricted for wildlife conservation purposes.