Maer Lake

This under-watched lake near Bude is well worth an explore, but bring your scope

Mear Lake (grid reference SS208075) can be found on the outskirts of the coastal town of Bude in North Cornwall and is jointly owned with Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Finding the reserve is easiest by driving through Bude’s one way system until you find Sainsburys, turn left onto Crooklets Road. Follow the golf course along and take the next right until you come to a cross roads. Go straight across, taking the next right onto Maer Lane, follow the road along until you come to a small lay-by on your left-hand side with space for three cars. The reserve can be viewed from the gateway opposite and along the road that boarders the reserve. At present there is no access to the site but plans are in the early stages to get a hide erected. Parking can also be found at the pay and display car park at Crooklets, a five-minute level stroll from the reserve.
If planning a trip to the reserve the use of a ‘scope would be of great benefit as viewing is a little distant from the road. The lake itself is a freshwater wetland reserve set in 22 acres of grazed meadow, fed by small streams from the catchment area of Poughill and Maer. The water level is controlled by sluice gates allowing us to maintain a level that is both good for waders and wildfowl, but this can be tricky in periods of heavy rain or long dry spells. Good numbers of birds can be seen at the site and there is always something of interest.
So, if you are in Bude get yourself along to Maer Lake and see what you can find. Bude Marsh and the canal are also nearby if you want to make a day of it.

Spring and autumn waders

In spring and autumn waders such as Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper , Curlew Sandpiper, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover can often be seen.


Winter sees large flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing turn up as well as gulls, with large flocks of Black-tailed Godwit also occasionally present. The winter has also seen birds such as Bewick’s and Whooper Swan , Long -tailed Duck and recently a Sociable Plover put in an appearance.


Spring highlights have included birds such as Temminck’s Stint, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Marsh Harrier and Citrine Wagtail with the autumn throwing up the likes of Wilson’s Phalarope , Semipalmated Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope.