Brimpton & Woolhampton Gravel Pits
Woolhampton Gravel Pits are situated south of the A4 east of Thatcham. It is possible to access some pits from the road (track off the A4 at SU560665, no parking) but it is safer to park at the Rowbarge pub in Woolhampton village (SU572665) and follow the footpath westwards towards the lakes. Here and the area around the River Kennet are good habitats for warblers, Kingfisher and the now rare Turtle Dove. Cetti's Warbler also breed. Gravel extraction has finished on all pits so there is less shallow margin than there once was but the waters attract various wildfowl, including breeding Shelduck, and migrant waders are possible in season. Common Terns and hirundines are numerous in spring and Hobbies may be seen hawking over the waters. Look out for Arctic or Black Tern and Little Gull on passage. Occasional rarer Red-necked and Black-necked Grebes along with Scaup have been found here in the winter months.
Brimpton Gravel Pits are slightly further south and these days are less attractive for waterfowl and waders. There is still a small reedbed with Water Rail being possible and the scrub margins can hold Nightingale, Sedge and Reed Warblers. Yellow Wagtail is also possible. Access can be made using the footpath from the Woolhampton pits or from the lay-by at SU567650.
Rarities here have included Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Red-footed Falcon and Bluethroat
Grid Reference: SU5665 & 5666