This stunning freshwater wetland reserve was jointly purchased with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust in 1993 and has become an extremely important reserve for breeding, feeding and roosting birds. Maer Lake consists of 22 acres of wetland grazing meadows, which lie on the northern side of Bude town at Grid Ref SS208075 and are a short distance from the sea. Depending on rainfall, anything between two and fifteen acres can lie under water, and around two acres are covered in flag iris.
Contact the Maer Lake Warden HERE
Originally, I also regarded the pool as a summer grazing meadow which flooded in Winter, or at times of extreme rainfall. The sluices that we have installed have changed the character of the reserve, greatly benefiting species like Lapwing and Golden Plover which find the security of roosting on the flag iris islands surrounded by water much to their liking. A major concern when doing management work with heavy machinery has been not to change the depth of water in the reserve. The shallow standing water has now over a period of years created a thick rich silt which is ideal for feeding waders, and it is no surprise to find that considerable numbers of wintering Dunlin have found this ample food supply.
We purchased Maer in
1992 and the following year we cut two major
channels through the Flag Iris to assist
viewing, over the ensuing years these have
started to grow in and narrow. We now need to
deal with this problem and get an excavator on
to the site this summer (weather permitting),
and we have agreed a budget with CWT to deal
with this. CWT have also kindly agreed to
replace a twenty metre stretch of fencing which
is in poor condition on the road boundary. The
Society is extremely grateful to Callum Deveney
the Reserves Officer and his staff for this
contribution. Also to Tim Dingle and Anne Barks
and all at the Tamar Branch of CWT who have been
such stalwarts in supporting the Reseve, from
paying for management work to supplying
machinery. My thanks also go to Society members
Rex Braund and Brian Craven for their much
appreciated help and advice.
The Reserve goes from strength to strength. Golden Plover numbers exceeded 4000 at one stage this past winter, and at least eight Jack Snipe were present at the same time. These were both record counts for Maer. On the morning of February 22nd 2005 a Bittern was booming at 06:30 and then seen feeding in a ditch later in the day. Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum emerged at the Reserve last summer in considerable numbers. It is hard to imagine during a cold and icy spell, that beneath the ice, that complex life cycle is functioning and waiting to burst into magnificent flight in the coming summer.
From Bude Town Centre,
cross the golf course using Crooklets Road, near
the tennis courts turn right and travel a short
distance north again across the golf course.
Cross Downs View Road and turn right at the Maer
Lodge Hotel. After a short distance, the reserve
is on the right side of the private road.
Viewing is strictly only from the private road
above the reserve. Due to extremely limited
parking, park in the nearby public road and walk
the short distance to the road overlooking the
reserve. No hide exists at the present time.