A Site of Special Scientific Interest designated former gravel pit in the Lee Valley near Ware, Amwell Nature Reserve supports internationally important numbers of wintering wildfowl. Along with outstanding communities of breeding birds, the reserve is home to 21 species of dragonfly and damselfly resident in Hertfordshire, making this the county’s best site for dragonflies.
The reserve includes two waterbodies, Great Hardmead Lake and Hollycross Lake, which were excavated between 1973 and 1990, and a variety of associated wetland, grassland and woodland habitats.
Spring and autumn passage migrants benefit from our reedbed management and the majority of the reserve’s birds can be seen from the main viewpoint. For panoramic views over the reserve head to our largest hide, the White Hide, where close views of the islands and tern rafts can be enjoyed year-round. Amwell is known for bitterns and we cut rides and ‘bittern bays’ in the reedbed to help visitors see the elusive bird from the Bittern Pool viewpoint.