Radipole Lake

Weymouth Wetlands

Weymouth Wetlands
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Radipole Lake

  • The Advancing Year at Radipole Lake

    A beautiful day at Radipole Lake today with sunshine and blue skies. Though many of us are still walking around with our T-shirts and sandals there is a distinctly autumnal feel to the reserve. The days are getting shorter and cooler in the evenings. The autumnal chill in the air is becoming more noticeable as we approach the last week of September. 

    Radipole Lake

    Radipole Lake

    On my way down to the hide, I noticed that there are less flowers around but the hedgerows are becoming abundant with the fruit bringing some welcome colour. Summer flowers still with us are the Hemp Agrimony, Hedgerow Cranesbill, Stone Parsley, Wild Parsnip and Hogweed.

    Hemp Agrimony

    Plants currently fruiting are the Hawthorn, Dogwood and Guelder Rose. We have several apple trees, a pear tree and a plum tree fruiting on Radipole. Their arrival here is likely to be from people's discarded cores or fruit stones. 

    Hawthorn in Fruit

    While the bramble is becoming heavily laden with blackberries, welcome snacks for birds and the smaller furry animals like the wood mouse.


    On the way back to the Discovery Centre, I saw a number of dragonflies and a very obliging Red Darter Dragonfly allowed me to get close enough for a photo-shoot. I also saw Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and Small Whites butterflies making the most of the autumnal sunshine.

    Common Red Darter

    Other autumnal plants coming into flower now are Mugwort and Clematis.


    For me, a sure sign that it's now Autumn is the Ivy coming into flower. Ivy starts fruiting in late October and this plant is invaluable to birds when food starts becoming more scarce as winter approaches.

    Flowering Ivy

    My visit to the North Hide was rewarded with a Green Sandpiper flying in with two Black Tailed Godwits and a Little Egret. Other recent Autumn bird sightings include: A Citrine Wagtail was briefly at Radipole on 1st September. Yellow Wagtails roost on Radipole in the Autumn, and a peak count (so far) of 650 was recorded on 5th September.  A long staying juvenile Garganey has been seen regularly since August and may still be present at time of writing. Finally another mega, in the form of a Spotted Crake was seen on 20th September.

    For the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.

    Telephone: 01305 778313



  • Kingfisher Weekend at Radipole Lake

    Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September

    10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.

    Price: Free

    Do you want to see Kingfishers in the heart of Weymouth? It's the best time of year to see them so drop into our Discovery Centre over our Kingfisher weekend. We'll have volunteers on hand to direct you to the best view points and telescopes will be set up for you to have a great view.

    Kingfisher at North Hide

    Photo Credit: Rachel H

    In addition there will be kingfisher quizzes, craft activities and loads more fun on this special, free family fun day.

    For further information, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.

    Telephone: 01305 778313



  • Happy 40th Birthday to Radipole Lake!

    Back in 1976:

    • The UK was basking in a heatwave peaking at 35.9°C (96.6°F), parts of South West England had no rain in July and August for 45 days
    • Team GB competed in the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria winning 1 gold medal (John Curry, ice skater, becomes Britain's first gold medalist)
    • Team GB competed in the Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada winning 3 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals
    • Southampton FC won the FA Cup
    • Anita Roddick opened the first Body Shop in Brighton
    • The RSPB's newest reserve, Radipole Lake was leased from Weymouth Council

    Yes folks!  40 years ago this year Radipole Lake became the RSPB's latest addition! A birthday party was held in the Discovery Centre in Radipole Lake's honour to celebrate, attended by RSPB staff and volunteers.

    Radipole Lake's 40th Birthday Cake

    Photo Credit: David Morphew

    The fabulous birthday cake was made by Marion Podsiches of Marion Bakes. Marion supplies all our Discovery Centre cakes as well as supplying local cafes and businesses in Weymouth.

    Radipole Lakes' Birthday Party in full swingTwo Familiar Faces

    The party is in full swing and a visit from Michelle Trafford, former Discovery Centre Manager, here having a celebratory drink and catching up on the latest news with centre staff, Dan Bartlett.

    Dan introducing the new South West Regional Director

    Dan enthusiastically introducing Nick Bruce-White, RSPB's South West Regional Director to the party goers.

    Nick Bruce-White, RSPB South West Regional Director

    Nick saying a few words about Radipole Lake's successes over the past 40 years and more recent achievements. The key highlights from Nick's message are below:

    Visitor statistics – since re-developing the Visitor Centre into its current form as a Discovery Centre with a small catering offer in 2012;

    • Visitor numbers have increased year on year
    • We are bringing in huge numbers of nature connections, more than any other reserve in the southwest and have already just surpassed our target for this financial year
    • Income from the catering offer, duck food sales and events income has been increasing year on year and are on target to improve again this year.
    • Due to having no dedicated catering staff we have the highest percentage of profit of any RSPB catering offer in the UK 
    • We are successfully delivering several groundbreaking new projects –leading the way  in nature and health connections by leading regular health walks, and dementia friendly activities. Plus our new toddler group is going well so we provide sound nature connection right across the spectrum of visitors.

    Wildlife highlights:

    • Breeding Marsh Harriers consistently at Lodmoor and Radipole since 2009, often with pairs on both sites in the same years. 
    • Breeding otters at Radipole with the animals known to have been present from at least 2007 onwards. We currently have a very obliging family of them doing the rounds this summer, with many visitors spotting them.
    • No breeding Bitterns yet, but booming males regularly at Lodmoor in recent springs, and occasionally at Radipole. The wintering population remains small but stable.
    • Breeding warblers including  Cettis, Reed, Sedge, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat etc, stable breeding populations of Bearded Tits & Reed Bunting, again on both sites. Also breeding duck species including in recent years increasing records of Pochard & Tufted Duck
    • A Common Tern colony at Lodmoor since 1996, which has had a lot of breeding success. The colony has struggled in recent years however, but had a marginally better year this year.
    • Our much loved, resident Hooded Merganser, who has been living here for 9 years.
    • The discovery of Natusius Pipistrelle at Radipole, a mega rare bat for the UK.
    • The discovery, on both reserves by our volunteer survey team, of a spider species Hyposinga heri. This species was thought to be extinct in the UK, with the last known sighting at Wicken Fen in the 1900’s.
    • The arrival of rare plant species including Ophrys apifera var. Atrofuscus Bee Orchid, aka the Brown Bee in 2008 and Rumex maritimus Golden Dock, a Dorset rare dock last recorded at Radipole in 1960 and found again in 2009.
    • As we remain mink free, Water Voles are able to thrive.
    • And a host of regular migrants in spring and summer including this year Great White Egret, Glossy Ibis, Black Winged Stilt, Red Backed Shrike, Red Kite, Hoopoe, Spoonbill and Red Rumped Swallow

     Geoff Carey, 15 years service award

    Photo Credit: David Morphew

    After the speech, Nick presents volunteer, Geoff Carey, with the 15 year Service Award. One of Geoff's roles has been the opening and closing of the North Hide.

    Staff smiles for the cake cutting

    Photo Credit: David Morphew

    Next the RSPB staff assemble for the official Cutting of the Birthday Cake . Left to right: Lindsey Death - Discovery Centre Manager, Dante Munns - Dorset and Wiltshire Team Manager, Nick Bruce-White - South West Regional Director, Dan Bartlett - Visitor Experience Assistant

    Nick Bruce-White cuts the cake

    Photo Credit: David Morphew

    Our South West Regional Director has the honour of cutting the birthday cake.

    Happy 40th Birthday Radipole Lake! Folks, raise a glass of bubbly to the next 40 years!

    For the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments, snacks and ice creams available.

    Telephone: 01305 778313