Englemere Pond Nature Reserve in leafy Ascot, BerkshireEnglemere Pond Nature Reserve in leafy Ascot, Berkshire covers an area of 68.2 acres and consists of a large, shallow lake offering a wide range of habitats that are important for wildlife. The site is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) for its important range of habitats and associated species. It is home to a wide range of plant species and a home for many birds, insects and animals, including grass snake, siskin and redpoll, as well as round-leaved sundew.  It is home to a mixed woodland of Scots pine, oak, mountain ash, willow and silver birch.

The reserve is located on Swinley Road in Ascot, and it is ideal dog walking territory.  Judging by Hoover’s enthusiasm there are masses of sniffs and smells to investigate.  It was originally part of a great Royal Hunting Forest that surrounded Windsor Castle and today it is still part of the Crown Estate.

In the past parts of the trails have been impassable during extremely wet weather, but now sleeper bridges and boardwalks have been installed and surfacing has been provided in particularly wet areas of the trail, so regardless of the weather the circular trails are accessible.

There is an information board at the car park showing a twenty-minute and a forty-minute trail, however you can quite happily extend your walk if you roam off-piste and meander through the site.  When doing so it is hard to believe that you are just along the main road from Ascot town centre.   We can easily lose an hour or two here, particularly on beautiful days like today.  The site is never busy but we often get chatting to other doggy people such as Kate, her son Hamilton and their Springer, Isla whom we met today.  We had such a good chat that we did another lap with them rather then stop talking.  Hoover was thrilled as Hamilton played with him the whole way round, and Isla was having the best time exploring all the muddiest and wettest spots.  You’ve never seen a happier or busier Spaniel.  If you want to keep you dog clean then don’t come here!

The site can be accessed via Englemere car park, Swinley Road, Ascot, SL5 8BA. Grid reference SU905685.  Parking is free.