Thrupp Lake


A special watery oasis

Discover Thrupp Lake, Radley on the outskirts of Abingdon. A truly special oasis that has blossomed almost where you least expect it. In this small corner of busy South East England sits one of the best places to see wetland wildlife that you could hope to find...

A magical place all year round

Thrupp Lake is magical at any time of year: in spring the trees begin to blossom, herons gather, cygnets hatch and kingfishers dart by. During summer the lake shimmers with emergent damselflies and darting dragonflies. In autumn the colours are spectacular and swans glide gracefully beneath the trees, whilst in winter the chilly mist or snow can transform the lake into a magical setting which throngs with a multitude of overwintering birds.

Walking around the lake and hearing its birdsong always gives visitors an enormous sense of calm and well-being. During the early summer there is also the opportunity to enjoy common spotted orchids and white helleborines, particularly in St David's Meadow. This transformation of this area from scrubland has been one of our greatest achievements on site.

There is a circular walk around the lake, a gentle stroll of around 1.7km/1 mile. There is a wooden boardwalk across the North West corner that gives you the chance to walk over water. A bird hide, with a green roof that blends in to the surroundings, provides an opportunity to watch and photograph any skittish birds without disturbing them. 

With its scenic, tranquil and wildlife rich habitats, we hope that after visiting you will fall in love with Thrupp Lake, just as many local people have done already - the site currently receives around 28,000 visits a year.


Earth Trust welcomes dogs to all sites but they must be kept on a lead at all times - this is primarily to protect the breeding birds in spring/summer and the overwintering birds in autumn/winter. Please be responsible and pick up after your dog - bags and bins are available. Thank you.


An independent fishing syndicate hold the fishing rights for Thrupp Lake and members are the only people permitted to fish the lake. Please contact Lucy Tomkinson, Community Reserves Warden, on 07982 218493 or 01865 409410 if you have any questions.

Community support and volunteering

This man-made lake is highly valued by local residents, naturalists, and the Friends of Radley Lakes, who do a fantastic job of helping to manage the site via monthly volunteer work parties (first Thursday of every month). The landowner, RWE npower, has given the Earth Trust a 25-year lease and funding to support the management. In addition, there has been support from adjacent landowners and their co-operation has allowed a permissive pathway to complete the circuit of the lake.


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