This is a great walk, whatever the weather. Needham Lake is man-made, having originally been rough, open meadowland. During the 1970s gravel was extracted during the construction of the nearby A14 and the pit was flooded to form the lake, which is now managed by the local council.
During the extraction, ice age discoveries were made and numerous evidence of pre-historic life! There’s a board near the car park giving more information on this, which makes a fascinating read!
In 1986 the lake was extended to create a pond which attracts and encourages more wildlife. King’s Meadow was also added to the site creating an area of 27 acres. There are numerous varieties of trees alongside the lake including White Poplar and Rowan or Mountain Ash. Walnut trees are to be seen at King’s Meadow. Along the river are Alder and Elder trees and conifers such as Larch and Scots Pine.
The lake is well stocked with Tench, Roach, Perch, Carp, Bream, Chub and the predatory Pike which has been known to snatch and eat ducklings as they paddle across deeper waters! There are marsh plants and reeds which provide shelter for water fowl and where Reed Warblers are known to nest. A great variety of birds visit the lake and its environs making it a splendid venue for bird spotters.
The lake has loads of parking space and picnic areas. It is a favourite place for residents of the town and attracts many visitors from further afield, including many of my guests, who always feed back on how nice it is. Events are organised for children during school holidays and parties of children often visit the lake during school terms.
The surrounds of the lake have also been used for Open Air Theatre and Local Dog Shows and the lake was even used as part of the Paralympic Flame Celebrations during the 2012 Olympics.
There’s a wonderful wooden sculpture of a mother and child, bizarrely with a goose and a fish! Not sure what the story is here but it’s very interesting and well worth a look.
It’s not a long walk round so can be done with kids quite easily.
It’s easy to get to – you will stumble across it as you enter Needham Market from the A14, just ten minutes from Woodfarm Barns & Barges.