Wildlife at Lackford Lakes


Lackford Lakes is 121 hectares of wetland, woodland, scrub and sandy heath created from former gravel pits. A nature reserve with year round importance for wildlife, it is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its birds and dragonflies. 


Lackford Lakes is a wildlife haven created after gravel digging in a unique partnership between CEMEX and Suffolk Wildlife Trust. It was enlarged in 2005 with a grant from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund and legacy gifts to the Trust. This inspiring nature reserve shows what can be achieved for wildlife when industry and conservationists share a vision and work together to fulfil it.


Lackford Lakes is a good place to see birds at any time of the year. Residents like kingfisher, water rail and pochard are joined by seasonal visitors. A winter visit is rewarded with flocks of wildfowl and a large gull roost. More species arrive in spring, including sedge warblers, nightingale and little ringed plover. In high summer look for hobby hunting over the lakes or buzzards soaring overhead.

Bird species list 2018

Bird species list 2017

Spring bird arrival dates 

Bird species list 2016

Bird species list 2015


A walk during the summer months is puncuated by flashes of colour. The larger hawker species hunt around the lakes whereas banded demoiselle prefer the fast flowing streams.

Dragonfly species list

Butterflies and moths

Butterfly species list

Moth species list

Flowering plants

A variety of wetland plants grow around the margins, including yellow flag iris and purple loosestrife. Areas of marshy ground support other wetland species such as southern marsh orchid and hemp agrimony. Vipers bugloss, common storksbill and other plants that are adapted to dry conditions grow on sandy ground.

Lackford Lakes meadows plant species


Lackford Lakes is home to many different mammals. Secretive otters fish in the streams and lakes. Stoats and weasels are easier to spot as they dart across the paths hunting for mice, voles and rabbits. You are most likely to encounter muntjac deer, but roe and red deer are also present.


FilenameFile size
plant_species_list_for_lackford_lakes_meadows.pdf15.07 KB
lackford_lakes_moth_list.pdf9.56 KB
lackford_lakes_dragonfly_list.pdf10.98 KB
lackford_lakes_bto_monthly_bird_list.pdf33.32 KB
butterflies_at_lackford_2005-11.pdf35.28 KB
moths_at_lackford_lakes_2005-2011.pdf53.48 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2015.pdf198.97 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2016.pdf238.68 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2016.pdf238.68 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2017.pdf219.07 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2017.pdf356.99 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2018.pdf351.7 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2018.pdf121.85 KB
spring_arrivals_-_the_birds_2018.pdf218.54 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2018.pdf123.07 KB
spring_arrivals_-_the_birds_2018.pdf218.73 KB
spring_arrivals_-_the_birds_2018.pdf221.62 KB
bird_species_recorded_at_lackford_lakes_2018.pdf125.28 KB