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Conningbrook Lakes Country Park

This reserve is made up of a series of lakes, ponds, river, wet woodland and grasslands – creating a great place for a riverside stroll, and host to a variety of wildlife.

This reserve is made up of a series of lakes, ponds, river, wet woodland and grasslands – creating a great place for a riverside stroll, and host to a variety of wildlife.

This former gravel and sand extraction pit has been transformed into a series of three lakes – the Main lake, Eco lake and Northern lake. These lakes are encompassed by wet woodland, ponds and grasslands. Kent Wildlife Trust are managing over half of the site on behalf of Ashford Borough Council (ABC); with Ashford Leisure Trust (ALT) and Mid Kent Fisheries also working in partnership. The reserve has great views and footpaths to the Wye Downs, and good access links from Ashford – a gateway to the Stour Valley.

The reserve is rich in birdlife on and around the lakes. Take a frosty morning walk in the winter months to see the migratory wildfowl and wetland birds, including species such as shoveller, wigeon, tufted duck and Gadwall. In the spring, catch the migrating warbler species and breeding birds around the lake edges, and hear the skylarks singing in the skies over the summer. Look out for the kingfishers zipping across the surface of the lakes and along the river profile.

Other wildlife the site has to offer include a large array of butterfly and dragonfly species in the summer months, keep your eyes peeled for weasels darting across the paths, and grass snakes bathing in the sunshine.

Whether it be a brisk walk, a gentle stroll, a wildlife watch area, or to pitch up on one of the picnic tables for an alfresco lunch – Conningbrook has something to offer all.

For more details visit the park's profile on Ashford Borough Council's website.

Nearby nature reserves

Ashford Warren & Hoads Wood
2 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust
Hothfield Heathlands
4 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust
Stone Wood
6 miles - Kent Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Julie Rose Stadium, Willesborough Road
TN24 9QX
Map reference
Great for...
a family day out
getting away from it all
stunning views
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Opening Times
Monday to Thursday - 08.30 - 21.00 Friday - 08.30 - 19.00 Saturday - 08.30 - 16.00 Sunday - 09.00 - 16.00 Bank Holidays - 08.30 - 17.00
Picnic facilities
Disabled toilet
Baby changing
34.30 hectares
Wheelchair accessible Tarmac path with downward slope from main car park. Flat, grass paths around the remainder of the site – which become muddy in the winter. Wooden pedestrian gates between compartments. Picnic benches at beginning of walk, and log benches around the lakes.
Walking information
There is currently no circular walk around the site. Allow 2 hours to reach the furthest end of the reserve and get back to the car park. Alternatively, you can continue your walk by crossing the railway line and walking back down the road from the Conningbrook Hotel Pub. A new bridge joins with footpaths heading towards Wye, and there are good pedestrian links to central Ashford. The paths around the country park do become wet and muddy over winter, so walking boots or wellies are advised over this period.
Yes Accessible. There is a flat tarmac car park, 50m tarmac slope down to main entrance. The Path from the end of the tarmac is flat, unsurfaced and grassy, can be very muddy. Wooden pedestrian gates. Disabled parking bay near to lake edge.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Sheep and cattle anytime of the year.
Reserve manager
Will Douglas
Tel: 01622 662012