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21 October 21

Affinity Water encourages families to spot the species this half term holiday and support its biodiversity agenda

Affinity Water is naming wildlife at two of its beauty spots to encourage families to take up the challenge and spot the species this half term holiday.

Images of a yellow bird, a duck and a small bird

From left to right - Siskin, Pochard and a Cetti’s warbler

With increasing interest in biodiversity and the plentiful autumn sunshine Affinity Water’s two public sites at Stocker’s Lake and Springwell Reedbed offer young people an opportunity to see if they can find and name the abundant wildlife that lives in these precious habitats.

Stocker’s Lake and Springwell Reedbed, both located in Rickmansworth, are managed for wildlife in partnership with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and can be found here with accompanying photographs and videos:


At Stocker's Lake you can spot birds and voles:

You will be able to spot the pretty yellow and black Siskin which have recently been arriving in search of autumn food. They can be found with other finches in the alder trees along the causeway.

It’s also a good time to look for Treecreepers, which are also often found on alders or in the wet woodland - they can be seen running up and down tree trunks and are often mistaken for little mice.

Ducks such as Pochard, Shoveler and Tufted Ducks are migrating into the area too so look out for their coloured heads on the lake.

You can also look out for the turquoise flash of Kingfishers that can be seen flying along the margins of the lake, or perching on a branch looking for fish.

Water voles are active in the River Colne itself if you want to see who spots them first - listen out for the ‘plop’ as they jump in for a swim.


At Springwell you can spot birds and voles:

At Springwell, listen and look out for the shy Water Rail and bubbly cheeping of the Cetti’s Warbler in the reedbed and Chiffchaff calling from the Willows nearby.

You may also spot a Water vole if you’re particularly lucky from the Lake viewpoint.

Natasha Gloor, who’s managing the project/partnership for Affinity Water explained: “We work closely with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust to manage these sites in a way which protects nature and helps wildlife to thrive, making nature accessible to the local community. We realise how important it is for young people and families to be able to appreciate the species that make their homes here in the rivers, lakes and reedbeds.

“Our environment teams have been out and about observing what species are moving in this Autumn. We wanted to share this knowledge with the public so that this half-term they can take their families and children out to enjoy spotting some of these birds and voles. I hope they will list them and take that list out with them so that they can tick each one off and even compete with one-another until they’ve all been identified. As we’re the UK’s largest water only company, this is a challenge to the public.

“Stocker’s Lake, part of the Colne Valley, is known for the large number of wintering birds that migrate there. While Springwell Reedbed is the largest contiguous reedbed in the Greater London area, the wetland provides an important refuge for wildlife in this built-up part of the Colne Valley.

“Our biodiversity programme is committed to protecting, restoring and enhancing the different forms of living organisms on our company sites, which act as links to the wider landscape. We hope families will enjoy our spot the species challenge this half-term.”

Don’t forget to look out for these wildlife and spot them across our catchment area.

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