Just north of Aylesbury, Watermead is like no other place we have visited in Buckinghamshire.
The appearance of the estate is most unusual, almost Disney-like, with brightly coloured houses on one side of the lake. The estate was built in the 1980’s and the designers were required to pay heed to the ecology of the local area to help protect the environment. The water table in the Vale of Aylesbury is higher than average on account of extensive water reserves that are stored below the clay bed of the whole vale. The designers took this into account by creating a lake which has become a haven for wildlife and many wild birds. Watermead was voted one of the top developments of its type in the country in the early 1990s and won awards for its design and original ideas.
We parked beside Watermead piazza where there is free parking. There are many ducks, gulls, geese and swans here and children were happily feeding them (they sell official duck food in the shop and pub located in the piazza). Wide concrete stepping-stones take you across the water between the two sections of lake – turn left to visit the bandstand or right to walk around the lake.
It’s not a long walk, but there are plenty of benches dotted around looking out over the lake so pack up a picnic, fill up the flask and head off to enjoy some fresh air.
Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust are working alongside Watermead Parish Council to create a wildflower meadow for wildlife as part of the Hedgerow Havens Project.
A big wildflower seed sowing day is planned for 5th October at 10 am. Meet in the car park by Watermead Piazza, wear suitable clothing and bring a packed lunch. Tea and biscuits will be provided. For additional information, and to book on, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01869 245864 .