Linford Lakes Nature Reserve
About Linford Lakes Nature Reserve
Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, at Great Linford, was established as a wildfowl research centre in 1970 following decades of mineral extraction in the area. Previously known as Hanson Environmental Study Centre, The Parks Trust purchased the site in 2015 and it is now known as Linford Lakes Nature Reserve and Study Centre. The site continues to be used as a nature reserve and a base for environmental education. It is widely regarded as the most biodiverse site in Milton Keynes.
This site is only open to permit holders - annual permits can be purchased here. Your permit must be carried at all times when visiting the reserve.
The 37 hectare site consists of a large lake, reedbeds, wet woodland and several small meadows interlaced with a number of smaller lakes and ponds. There are bird watching hides located across the site giving fine views of the wildlife and beautiful scenery. The lakes attract a good variety of wildfowl and passage wading birds and breeding birds include Barn Owl, Cuckoo and Common Tern. In early spring, one of the islands supports a thriving heronry and good views can be obtained of Herons and Little Egrets on their nests. In winter, rare visitors include Bittern, Great White Egret and Short Eared Owl. The woodland and meadows support a wide variety of mammals including Water Shrew, Otter, Harvest Mouse and hedgehog and a dedicated group of volunteers studies the mammal populations. Foxes, deer and badgers may sometimes be glimpsed on early morning visits. Linford Lakes is also known for important populations of insects, especially dragonflies and moths.
Friends of Linford Lakes
Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve (FoLLNR) consists of permit holders who want to help protect the wildlife and environment of the nature reserve. The Friends Group carry out regular practical conservation tasks as agreed and coordinated with the Parks Trust and organise events and open days at the site. As a permit holder you are always welcome to join the Friends Group even if you cannot partake in the conservation tasks. Find out more about the group here.
Please note, the FoLLNR Open Sunday events are currently suspended, however there are a range of events taking place with The Parks Trust's Outdoor Learning Team. Find out more in our what's on section.
Toilets are available in the study centre, these are accessible only during certain events.
Free parking is available outside the visitor centre for events and permit holders.
Other Visitor Information
Please dress appropriately when visiting our Nature Reserve especially during the summer months when insects are likely to be present.
Dogs are not permitted on this site (with the exception of assistance dogs).
FAQs: Linford Lakes Nature Reserve Permits
Find out more
- Purchase a Linford Lakes PermitBuy an annual permit to gain access to Linford Lakes Nature Reserve.
- Join the Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve GroupFind out more about becoming a member.
- Wildlife in our ParksFind out more about Milton Keynes' wildlife.
- Events in the ParksCheck out the latest outdoor learning events happening in our parks.