Places to see birds

Bewl Water

Willow warbler

Bewl Water reservoir is the largest stretch of open water in south east England. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, in the heart of the High Weald on the Kent and Sussex border, it is just south of Lamberhurst on the A21.

The reservoir is host to a huge variety of wildlife and is one of the region's most popular attractions featuring fishing, sailing, walking and cycling.

In addition to the wide variety of water fowl at Bewl this is one of the best spots in the south east to see the elegant great crested grebe and its smaller cousin the little grebe or dabchick. Other birds include kingfisher, tufted duck, greylag and Canada goose. In spring and autumn the reservoir is a good place to see migrating osprey. In the spring the scrub and bushes around the jetty area are good places to see and hear willow and garden warbler and the woods by the sailing club hold great spotted woodpecker and treecreeper. In summer swallows and martins skim the water for insects whilst grebe and heron fish around the edges of the reservoir. The southern end of the reservoir can be accessed by car from the A21 and is a good spot to see kingfisher and nesting grebe whilst the fields around the dam are home to skylark and lapwing.

There is a route around the entire reservoir which can be walked or cycled, and is about 12 miles. Additionally there is a ferry boat which can take you around the reservoir and is good for close up views of grebes and ducks. The RSPB hold their "Aren't Birds Brilliant" events here throughout each spring focusing on the great crested grebe and this is the best time to get close to the grebes and learn more about them and the society's work locally and internationally.

Bewl Water is open from 9am to dusk everyday except Christmas Day. There is a car park with an admission charge and an information/visitor centre with a café. For more information call 01892 890661 / 890352.

Grid reference TQ679328