Cricklade SN16 9TW
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OS map 169 grid ref: SU007939

When to visit

Free and open to visit 24 hours a day.

Know before you go

  • Wheelchair access to one bird hide and across the boardwalk to Mallard Lake. From this point, footpath can be muddy.
  • Dogs on leads welcome
  • Total complex 126.18 hectares
  • Cafe on site, open Wednesdays to Sundays 10-4.

Please note that over the spring and summer period we often have school visits to Lower Moor. Enthusing and educating students about the natural world is one of the main aims of the Trust and this engagement is important to us.  If you see school groups on site, please appreciate how important this work is and hopefully they will add to your visit.  If you don’t want to attend the site when school groups are present then please come on weekends, during school holidays or in the autumn and winter seasons.

Download the reserve leaflet

Download a large print leaflet

View a visual pre-arrival guide

Download an easy read leaflet

Join our volunteering group

Visit our Dragonfly Cafe

About the nature reserve

LMF reserve map

Join us for a virtual walk

What can be seen here?

Lower Moor (LM) opened in 2007 and is the gateway to Clattinger Farm, Oaksey Moor Farm Meadow and Sandpool nature reserves. From LM you can walk into the other reserves and explore a landscape of fascinating contrasts. The reserve is a mosaic of three lakes, two brooks, ponds and wetland scrapes linked together by boardwalks, ancient hedges, woodland and meadows. The lakes were created by gravel extraction in the 1970s. Mallard Lake is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its distinctive aquatic plants, which include rare stoneworts. The visitor centre is a resource for education groups and volunteers and a replica Iron Age hut is a focus for our educational activities. Large populations of wildfowl swim in the lakes - great crested grebe, teal, shoveler duck and goosander to name a few. You can enjoy the birdlife from hides at Swallow Pool and Cottage Lake – the latter is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Water voles and otters use Flagham Brook. On sunny days see if you can spot the emperor, southern hawker and downy emerald dragonflies. When it rains heavily we move our livestock off Clattinger’s incredibly valuable but wet wildflower meadows to drier pastures at LMF and Sandpool where they can be housed.

Mallard Lake - 9 hectares - Lake 52 (Cotswold Water Park)

The Mallard Flyfishers Syndicate leases the private trout fly fishing rights on Mallard lake from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. The lake is located on the Lower Moor Nature Reserve Centre near Oaksey in north Wiltshire. We are approximately 12 miles from Swindon and close to the market towns of Cirencester, Malmesbury and Tetbury. Mallard Lake is one of over 150 lakes which forms the Cotswold Water Park, spanning the counties of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire.

If you are looking for some of the best trout fly fishing in Wiltshire, then look no further than here at Mallard lake where you will be treated to a truly idyllic location in the Cotswold Water Park offering both rainbow and brown trout that test the seasoned fly fisher, but reward you with trout that put up a supreme effort before being landed in your net. For full details and how to contact Mallard Flyfishers about being a member of the Syndicate, please visit their website:

Clattinger Farm - 60.33 hectares
This is the UK’s finest remaining example of enclosed lowland grassland. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its fabulous wildflowers and is part of a Special Area of Conservation. It lies on the Thames floodplain and its hay meadows drain into the Swill Brook. It is so rich in wildlife because previous owners farmed the land traditionally without artificial fertilisers. We bought it in 1996. Come in late April to see thousands of delicately patterned snakeshead fritillaries, as seen in the video below. Walk through the meadows in June to see wildflowers - meadow saffron, tubular water-dropwort, orchids and downy-fruited sedge - a Red Data Book plant. In winter wading birds such as teal, lapwing and snipe forage on the wet meadows.

Sandpool - 19.85 hectares
You can walk from Lower Moor Farm to Sandpool or follow a path alongside the Flagham Brook into Clattinger Farm. Sandpool has seen many transformations, from hay meadow to gravel quarry and inert landfill site. Since 2009 we have been restoring it. The reserve is part of our farming enterprise –the roundhouse shelters cattle in winter. As at LMF, we move our belted Galloway cattle here from Clattinger in wet weather. Most of the reserve is lush grass for grazing. A grassy path leads into wet woodland full of bees and birds such as willow warbler and chiffchaff. Come at dusk and you may spot barn owl and bats. Watch from the bird hide the herons raising their chicks in twiggy nests between January and June.

Oaksey Moor Farm Meadow - 7.65 hectares
This is another link in this chain of incredibly special grasslands, full of wildflowers. In the summer you can see devil's-bit scabious, green-winged orchid, pignut and pepper saxifrage. Look for ruddy darter and four-spotted chaser dragonflies hovering above the pond.

For bird ringing reports from this reserve, see the West Wilts Ringing Group blog-

How can I get here?

Download directions


A lovely place to visit. The lakes and surrounding meadows have lots of wildlife and flowers. Paths are reasonably easy to walk on. Café now open and the cakes are delicious and the staff friendly and very informative.

~ Mary from Cirencester

Absolutely fantastic place, saw otters, a kingfisher, heron, cormorant, the cafe was lovely as was the soup and cakes

~ Christine from Tewkesbury

We work hard to keep special places like this a haven for wildlife and people. As a charity, we rely on your donations to allow us to continue this work. Please consider making a donation if you can, and keep Lower Moor a thriving reserve for nature: