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Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail

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Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail
Author: Claire, Published: 24 Dec 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail Walking Guide star1 Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail Walking Guide star1 Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail Walking Guide star1 Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail Walking Guide star0 Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail Walking Guide
Lincolnshire, Lincoln
Walk Type: Garden or park
Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail Walking Guide
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A 1.5 mile circular easy-access walk around Grebe Lake, within Whisby Nature Park near Lincoln in Lincolnshire. Whisby Nature Park comprises a series of lakes surrounded by grassland, marsh and scrub. The lakes have been created from the remains of sand and gravel quarry pits, and now support a wide array of wildlife. This trail performs a simple loop around one of the lakes, passing several bird hides, creating a short walk for everyone to enjoy. There are many other trails and paths should you wish to extend your visit.

The park is open every day from dawn until dusk. The walk is almost entirely flat, with just some very gentle slopes over short distances, and follows tarmac or compacted stone paths for its full length. There are no stiles, gates or steps on route, meaning it is suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs or disability buggies. Dogs are welcome across the park, including on this trail, as long as they are kept on leads. If you want to give your dog a run after the trail, there is another lake circuit (around Thorpe Lake) where dogs can be off the lead. The paths are a minimum of 2 metres wide. The maximum uphill gradient is 1:16 and the maximum downhill gradient is 1:14. The door widths into the bird hides are a minimum of 80cm and there are viewing windows designed for those in wheelchairs. You will find toilets, a cafe, adventure playgrounds and The Natural World Centre within the park. Allow 1 hour for the walk (plus extra time to explore more of the site and attractions).

Whisby Nature Reserve is located just off the A46, west of Lincoln, with brown tourism signs to guide you. If you are coming by car, there is a large pay and display car park at the site. The daily parking fee is £2 Mar-Oct and £1 Nov-Feb (correct Nov 2017) and the income from the car park supports the maintenance of the park. Approximate post code LN6 4RB. If you are coming by bus, the bus stops in Thorpe on the Hill village are just a 10-minute walk from the Nature Park car park.

Walk Sections

Start to Ditch Crossing
Start to Ditch Crossing

Start point: 53.1856 lat, -0.6384 long
End point: 53.1877 lat, -0.6376 long

From the car park, walk ahead up the access drive, directly away from the road. You will pass The Natural World Centre on your left. This contains a number of exhibitions as well as toilets, a cafe and a shop. Beyond the centre, keep ahead to join the tarmac path, signed to the Nature Park Walks. On your left your will pass The Barn, an information point where Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust volunteers are often on hand to answer your questions and provide updates on the latest wildlife sightings. The Barn also gives lovely views across Thorpe Lake.

Keep ahead to pass under the wooden arch and continue on the tarmac path. You will come to a T-junction with a waymarker post (with lots of coloured arrows) ahead. Turn right here and, just a few metres later, turn left to cross a ditch. Immediately after the ditch crossing you will come to a crossroads of paths.

Ditch Crossing to Second Bird Hide
Ditch Crossing to Second Bird Hide

Start point: 53.1877 lat, -0.6376 long
End point: 53.1883 lat, -0.6299 long

Turn right and follow the compacted stone path with a hedgerow on your left and the ditch running down to your right. Further along, now with a low section of hedgerow on your left, you will have your first glimpse of Grebe Lake on your left. About halfway along this path (which runs along the southern edge of the lake), you will come to the first of the three bird hides that we will pass on the route, on your left. As you approach the far end of the lake, you will reach the second bird hide, also on your left.

Second Bird Hide to Little Heath
Second Bird Hide to Little Heath

Start point: 53.1883 lat, -0.6299 long
End point: 53.1905 lat, -0.6282 long

Take time to enjoy the views of the lake from this bird hide. Whisby Nature Park, which is managed by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, is a bird-lover’s paradise. In spring and summer, flocks of tits and finches are joined by warblers. The lakes attract feeding sand martins and swallows, and terns nest on the islands. Chiffchaffs, reed and sedge warblers can be heard. Whisby Nature Park has also become famous for nightingales. Autumn brings the first sight of winter birds such as goldcrests, redpolls and grey wagtails. In winter, the water levels are at their highest and wildfowl are numerous.

When you have finished in the hide, continue along the compacted stone path, heading towards the traffic noise coming from the A46. Before you reach the road, follow the path as it swings left to follow the eastern edge of the lake. As you approach the north-eastern corner, with the railway line ahead, you will see an information board on your left (marking Little Heath) and a bench on your right.

Little Heath to Crossroads
Little Heath to Crossroads

Start point: 53.1905 lat, -0.6282 long
End point: 53.1891 lat, -0.6376 long

Little Heath is one of the remaining elements of the original landscape, from before quarrying, which include fragments of heathland, old hedgerows and a small oak woodland. This area was once part of Eagle Moor, which in turn was part of the widespread Lincoln Heath.

Continue a few more paces to reach the T-junction with the rail line ahead. Turn left to continue on the Grebe Lake circuit, with the railway running on your right. Further along, the path continues between fences, climbing gently to reach a path junction with a rail bridge across to your right. (This bridge was installed in 2015 to allow visitors to enjoy the northern section of Whisby Nature Park without the risk of crossing the rail level crossing).

For this walk, do NOT turn right towards the bridge, instead keep ahead on the Grebe Lake walk. You will head down a slope and come to a small crossroads of paths (with some steps up to the rail bridge on your right).

Crossroads to End
Crossroads to End

Start point: 53.1891 lat, -0.6376 long
End point: 53.186 lat, -0.6383 long

Turn left at this crossroads and follow the path between Grebe Lake on your left and Coot Lake on your right. On your left you will pass the final bird hide on Grebe Lake, should you want a final fix of birdwatching. Keep ahead and you will reach the ditch crossing that you should recognise from the outward leg. From this point you will be retracing your steps back to the car park. Go ahead over the ditch and follow the path as it swings right and then left. The path leads you back through the wooden arch, past The Barn and Natural World Centre on your right and on to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 Comments for: "Whisby Nature Park: Grebe Lake Trail"

Dogs need to be kept on leads.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Yes, remember to read the full walk introduction for all our guides. This gives you all the access information you need. This introduction clearly explains that dogs need to be on leads around this lake, and which other areas this rule does not apply.

By RhonaW on 24 Jun 2018

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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