Radipole Lake Nature Reserve
Reserve Name Radipole Lake Nature Reserve
Managing Authority RSPB
RSPB Radipole Lake Nature Reserve
The Swannery Car Park
Dorset DT4 7TZ
Parking & Toilet Provision
Very large carpark – the main one for the seafront – is next to the visitor centre
Description of Habitat & Facilities
The following report was submited by a dba member to help other members intending to visit.
There is only one hide and it does have a manoeuvring area for wheel chairs at its door. The inside is on two levels. The upper level is reached by stout wooden steps at the tradition 45 degrees with good handrails. There is no access for wheelchairs to it but on the lower level, straight ahead from the door, is an area obviously designed for wheelchair users – good shelf and not a seat in sight – all other benches in the hide are not removable. I would reckon that 5 wheelchairs would fit with ease and probably 6 with a bit of to-ing & fro-ing (if you see what I mean). On the path to the hide there is one short incline (about 15 degrees, I reckon). Part of the way is over a board walk and wooden bridges all of which (both bridges and board walk) have wire netting on them and good handrails on the bridges. The board walk does not have any side boards even when crossing through reed bed, but in my view the width which must be close to 4’6″ is quite enough for them not to be needed and it is all on one level.
The first half of the path from the RSPB shop to the hide is a gravel path which is well compacted but there was a puddle every 3 or 4 yards but only an inch or so deep at the most. This pathway is a public footpath and right of way and I think is nothing to do with RSPB, who will have pushed the local council, whose responsibility it must be, to make it wheelchair usable. For the slightly more mobile, but not wheelchair bound birder, it is possible to access to this path off a road and save about half the distance as, at this point, the RSPB’s land starts. Such persons could be dropped there and the driver could then go to the car park and leave the car and join them via the public path.
If you are an RSPB member you don’t even have to have a permit but those who need permits can get them at the shop (at the edge of the car park) and the driver could pick them up for all? The RSPB’s bit of the path, where it is not boardwalk, is a very good surface. It is hardcore and cement (not exactly concrete) and is smooth. NB The shop is fully accessible and has a very large viewing area of floor to ceiling plate glass – scopes etc. are available too. For further information see this: website
This is another good “drop in on a daily basis” reserve. You can see Bearded Tits & Water Rail from the Visitor Centre. You can check out the Gulls there every afternoon on their pre-roosting loaf. This reserve is renowned for Cetti’s Warbler, go early and you shouldn’t need to go very far to hear & hopefully see them! Opening times: The reserve trails are open at all times. The birdwatching hide is open daily from 8.30 am – 4.30 p.m. Visitor centre open daily 9 am -5 p.m. You will need a permit to access the North Hide, available from the Centre. Contact: RSPB Radipole Lake Nature Reserve, The Swannery Car Park, Weymouth, Dorset,DT4 7TZ – Tel: 01305 778313.
Description of Trails
Number of Hides
Description of Hides [By name or number]
Date Last Updated