Prospect Park is Reading’s largest open space and gets its name from the fine views across the Kennet Valley and beyond, which can be enjoyed best from the Mansion House. The regency white stuccoed grade II listed mansion (now a restaurant) is set on a hill at the highest point of the park. The park has broad sweeps of short cut grass, with areas of meadow grassland. An pond was created to the south of the house and attracts an assortment of wildlife, while ‘The Rookery’ can be found to the north – a mature oak woodland and Wildlife Heritage Site.
A favourite amongst children is the mini steam train, run by voluntary enthusiasts on the first Sunday of each month, near the Bath Road entrance. The site also features a wide variety of sports facilities and a well-equipped children’s play area. The park is also host to a number of annual events including the Reading Carnival and a steam fair.
Liebenrood Road, Reading, RG30 2ND
Berkshire nature reserves ‘trashed’ after lockdown easing
More than 10 nature reserves in Berkshire have been trashed as anti-social behaviour hit “unprecedented” levels following the easing of lockdown in Berkshire alone, a wildlife trust has said.
Fly-tipping, littering and barbecue fires have increased, Berkshire (BBOWT) said. At Hosehill Lake (1 mile south Theale), boating and swimming has disturbed nesting birds including terns, lapwing, oyster catchers. People fishing in front of a specially created sand martin wall has thought to have caused a failure of nests there this year.
Fences and buildings have also been damaged. On Wildmoor (Crowthorne), people have cut fencing to reach restricted and protected areas of the reserve and at Moor Copse wildflowers and nesting areas for skylark have been damaged. People have broken into an old building at Greenham causing substantial damage to its structure and roof.
A trust director said it was the worst he had seen in 30 years.
Warm weather in recent weeks is also believed to have been a factor.
BBOWT director Christopher Williams said: “I’ve been shocked, saddened and angered by the frankly disgraceful behaviour and actions by some people which we have witnessed at our nature reserves in the last few weeks.
“I’ve worked in the sector for nearly 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Similar issues have hapenned in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, across 25 BBOWT nature reserves, volunteers have seen fly-tipping, littering, and trampled paths through reed beds, as well as fences cut and an old building damaged by a break-in.
BBOWT is asking anyone who witnesses any anti-social and criminal activity at any of our nature reserves, to contact the Police on 101. Details of how to report these incidents is explained on our website. We also ask people to spread the word that this is not acceptable through their own social media outlets. If the matter is serious, please contact BBOWT.
Fires and BBQs
Increase in dogs scaring sheep
Boating and Swimming – disturbs nesting terns, lapwing, oyster catchers
Fishing in front of sand martin wall – none nesting in it this year
Creating paths through the reedbed to get to the lake disturbing warblers etc.
Litter, BBQs, football games etc. including on neighbours property too
Dogs out of control chasing wildfowl and young.
Bike jumps, fires, treehouses, fences cut
Breaking into old building causing lots of damage to structure and roof, people drinking alcohol.
Fires and BBQs – a large fire on 30th May.
Drones, kites, model aircraft, picnics on lozenges, out of control dogs, fishing in ponds, fire beaters smashed, horseriding and cycling on lozenges,
Car park full and people parking on the road, BBQs all over site, fire, people going to the toilet behind the currently locked toilet building
People creating new paths through the meadows, damaging wildflowers and potential nesting areas for skylark.
Drive through demolition of gate into field.
Masses of flytipping
Logs thrown into river blocking watercourse and sluice downstream.
Motorcyclists, flytipping, drinking, littering.
Thatcham Reedbeds and Nature Discovery Centre
Vandalism, flytipping, littering.
Padlock/chain cut by motorcyclists to gain access to river crossing.
Lousehill Copse | Well Hidden Local Nature Reserve
A remnant ancient woodland that has been dated back to over 300 years ago, in the residential area of Tilehurst, In 1992 site was designated a Local Nature Reserve.
Lousehill Copse is dominated by a broadleaf canopy and mixed shrub layer. A circular path takes you round the wood with several spur paths connecting to local neighbourhoods. The wood includes steep slopes but as a result you do get a canopy eye view of the woodland!
The nature reserve is 13.03 hectares (32.2 acres) in size, and is under the management of the Reading Borough Council. The majority of the site comprises natural mature woodland surrounded by housing and featuring a pond, whilst the northern section of the reserve, also known as Comparts Plantation, is a grassy meadow area. To the south the reserve is crossed by Dee Road.
Along with Blundells Copse & McIlroy Park, Lousehill Copse forms part of West Reading Woodlands.
Lousehill Copse is located at Tay Road, Tilehurst, Reading, RG30 4DR
Clayfield Copse | Reading’s first Local Nature Reserve
A large, mainly natural open space consisting of fields and native woodlands adjoining the Oxfordshire countryside. Two fields are recreational areas. Some woodland is being actively managed as hazel coppice, and traditional dead hedging defines some of the ancient woodland areas. A wild flower meadow and other fields are being left to regenerate woodland. Beautiful bluebells spot in bluebell season.
Designated as a Reading Nature Reserve in 1991 (and was Reading’s first Local Nature Reserve). Clayfield Copse also features a Sculpture Trail (suitable for pushchairs/wheelchairs) and two of the fields are recreational areas with a skate park.
Popular site for family walker, dog walkers
Clayfield Copse is located at Caversham Park Road, Caversham, Reading, RG4 6R