Opening for the first time on the Coronation Weekend, the local community is invited on Sunday 7 May for the formal opening at 11.30am; and to take part in charity Coronation Coracle races on the lakes between 1pm and 4pm. The small, circular, one-person coracle row-boats can be traced back thousands of years and were traditionally used for fishing in fast flowing rivers.
Knighton Reserve, which borders Warmwell and Crossways, forms part of the Silverlake estate, a private ecological luxury holiday home estate built around an expanse of lakes, woodlands and heathlands. The 15.5 Hectare Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG) will open to the public for the first time since the site was a former sand quarry and WW2 air base.
The SANG has been carefully designed to meet the needs of a wide range of wildlife species, including dormice, smooth snake, great crested newts and the silver-studded blue butterfly. It is made up of acid grassland, broadleaved woodland, wet woodlands, scrubs, waterbodies, lakeside beeches and reed beds. Integrated into the natural habitats will be walking routes, dog friendly zones, bridle paths and birdwatching lookouts.
Four designated dog-friendly circular walking routes, ranging from one to four kilometres provide pathways through the reserve that take in the cross section of habitats.
Included in the network is Pooch’s Place route, a one-kilometre walk that is set aside as the only area where dogs are allowed off-lead. This area includes a dog splash pond and dog swimming area in an enclosed area of one of the three lakes.
Scattered throughout the reserve are allocated birdwatching viewing posts, from where an array of species can be seen. The Silverlake Estate becomes home to dozens of local and migrating species throughout the year, including a number of red and amber listed species, such as woodlarks, warblers, nightjars and scaup. Large flocks of geese and ducks can be seen and gulls are found throughout the year. Waders can also be watched with some regularly breeding at Silverlake. And in the skies above the SANG birds of prey can be observed hovering and soaring in the breeze.
During the summer sand martins can be found in the purpose-built boxes on Sand Martin Bank. Walking around the reserve, keen twitchers will also be able to spot house martins, swifts, woodlarks, skylarks, various warblers, whitethroats and black caps.
Running around the edge of the SANG is a bridleway that joins with local riding routes, which also cuts through Silverlake’s scattering of residential villages.
In the centre of the SANG are two adjoined fishing lakes which will be exclusively for the use of members of the onsite Angler’s Club. Within the lakes, anglers will find mirror and common carp, perch, bream, roach, hybrids and rudd.
Public access from 7 May
Knighton Reserve will be open for public access from 7 May 2023. Visitors are asked to respect the fact that they are visitors in the home of natural wildlife and take all litter with them, or use the bins provided, as well as keeping dogs on leads in all areas, other than Pooch’s Place.
Will Vicary, director of Land and Planning for Habitat First Group which owns and manages the Silverlake Estate and Knighton Reserve says: “The primary purpose of our SANG at Silverlake is to provide a space for wildlife to thrive in its natural habitat. We are delighted to be able to open this space up to the local community. Open space is incredibly important for mental health and we hope that people will come and enjoy the space, but ask everyone to understand that we all have a responsibility to protect the animals, insects and plant life that have made the SANG their home.”
Please share post:
Follow us on