Lakes surrounded by grassland and trees, and an education centre open to the public.
Testwood Lakes comprises a series of 3 lakes surrounded by grazed grasslands and meadows which are cut for hay each year to encourage wild flowers and invertebrates, wet woodland dominated by alder, hedgerows full of native species including hazel and hawthorn and a number of wildlife ponds. The reserve is a great place to see a variety of waders and waterfowl in winter and breeding birds, including sand martins, in summer. The reserve is owned by Southern Water and managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
The Testwood Lakes Centre is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4 pm and Sundays, 1pm to 4pm (BST) in summer and 12am to 3pm (GMT) in winter. During term time there are often school groups using the centre so please be aware it may not always be possible to come and look around. Inside the centre are activity sheets and leaflets, interactive wildlife displays and accessible toilets. There are two bird hides, approximately half a mile from the centre, open seven days a week from 10am to 4pm.
Fishing in permitted on Little Testwood Lake only and permits must be obtained from the Test Valley Angling Club.
Getting to Testwood Lakes
Testwood Lakes is situated 1½ miles from the centre of Totton. It forms part of the Test Valley - An area of international importance for wildlife.
Car: From the M27 junction 2, take the A326 Fawley/Totton road and take the first exit, signposted Totton (A36). At the first roundabout, turn left into Brunel Road. Coming from Southampton, travel into Totton along the A36/Commercial Road, taking the second exit at the roundabout onto the A36/Salisbury Road. At the large roundabout take the third exit on Brunel Road.
Testwood Lakes is situated 300m down on the left hand side. The nearest postcode to the site entrance is SO40 3WX. Please note that the centre is approximately 300m past the Sea Scout building.
Parking: the car parks are open every day from 8am to 5pm in the summer and from 8am to 4pm during the winter. Please note, the gates to the nature reserve and car parks have a height barrier of 1.9m, which is usually closed. Please phone ahead of your visit on 02380 667929 and we may be able to open these for you.
Rail: Totton station is 1½ miles from the reserve, with trains running there every hour from Southampton.
Bus: Bluestar No. 12 runs every half hour, Monday to Saturday and every hour on Sundays from Southampton calling at Testwood Crescent which is ½ mile from the reserve. Wilts & Dorset X7 runs hourly Monday to Saturday from Southampton to Testwood Crescent.
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust manage our nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife and we would like to thank all of our visitors that take care when walking on our nature reserves. We are working hard to engage with the dog walking community, in particular those that visit our nature reserves with their dog. The Trust’s "Dogs on Reserves" project has produced a leaflet that explains how to act responsibly on our nature reserves, along with some general guidance for dog walking visitors and advice about walking amongst cattle.
Species and habitats
- Grassland, Wetland, Woodland
- Banded demoiselle, Emperor dragonfly, Migrant hawker, Red Campion, Marbled White, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Wigeon, Siskin, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Sand Martin, Tufted Duck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Roe Deer, Oxeye Daisy, Bird's-foot-trefoil