Map, plan, Info and images of the park

First and foremost there's a very good annotated plan of the park on the official VoG web site:
Also click here to see a map of where it is.
The Cafe
Cosmeston was a limestone quarry many years ago but when work ceased it was developed into a country park and was opened to the public in 1978. It has a total area of about 100 hectares and the two lakes formed from the flooded quarry workings, which are the centre piece, attract a good variety of wildfowl in the winter including flocks of Pochard and Tufted Duck which can number several hundred each. Recent winters have also seen over wintering Bittern. In addition less common wildfowl can occur, such as Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Goldeneye, Scaup, Goosander, and such rarities as Ferruginous Duck, Ring-necked Duck and Lesser Scaup. Also present in large numbers in winter are Black-headed-, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls, with the occasional Common Gulls but these are scarce, and even Great Black-backed Gulls occasionally. Both the Black-headed- and Common Gulls disappear in the summer. Mute Swan, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe (Dabchick), Coot and Moorhen are the main breeding water birds, and the reed beds hold good numbers of breeding Reed Warbler, some Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting, in summer. The latter species is resident. Cetti's Warblers are often heard singing too and Bearded Tit has been recorded in the reed beds in winter. The woodland and scrub also attract other summering warblers - Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, and Willow Warbler. Kingfishers are sometimes seen but their appearances are erratic and certainly not guaranteed.
The main boardwalk outside the cafe
 There are plenty of common resident birds of course, and the open paddocks for example frequently have Green Woodpeckers feeding on the ground. Buzzards are frequent overhead throughout the year, and Sparrowhawk is fairly frequent in its appearances. The park is also very rich in flora including several species of Orchid, and thus also attracts a good variety of butterflies. Dragonflies and Damselflies are also well represented around the wet habitats. Examples of the wildlife will appear on the photos pages in due course.
East Lake
 Above is the view across East Lake towards the cafe. This lake is mainly used for recreational purposes - canoeing, small dingy sailing, model boat sailing and occasional scuba diving.
East Lake looking SW
This is East Lake looking towards the bridge between it and West Lake. The gulls are mainly found on E lake and some wildfowl, but everything clears off to W lake when there's sailing or canoeing. The ledges along the shoreline to the left of the bridge sometimes have Common Sandpiper in autumn or spring. In Jul 2011 there were an amazing 12, the most I have seen there.
West Lake viewpoint
After walking the main boardwalk and passing thro' some trees past a bird feeding table, you come to the small viewpoint above at the east end of West Lake. Common Sandpipers can sometimes be seen on the opposite shore during spring and autumn.
Emerging from the 1st viewpoint and turning left brings you on to the central path that passes between both lakes and continues for about 2 miles to Cogan Hall Farm. The trees either side can be good for Long-tailed Tit, esp. in winter and also Chiffchaff in season and other common birds. About 100m along here is another viewpoint over West Lake and its reed bed, on the left - see below.
This is quite a good spot for observing the wintering ducks.
Emerge from here and turn left again and you are approaching the main bridge -
From the bridge looking left you get a good view of the west lake reeds ......


It is in these reeds that Bittern have fairly regularly over-wintered in recent years. Great Crested Grebes and even Little Grebes can be often seen in quite close proximity here. There are some posts in the water, back right of this photo [not visible here] which are used as perches by gulls and the occasional Cormorant. Beyond the bridge a path on the left leads down through the trees to a small hide overlooking a partially reed-enclosed bay of West Lake, which is shown partially in the right hand side of the above pic. Proceed further along the path and turn left and you get a good view from the west end of West Lake and the small bay as below.
Straight ahead past the Medieval Village thro' the kissing gate, and on the left is the 'Dovecote Field' [ruins of a medieval dovecote are up the slope on the left]. On the right further ahead, the path by Sully Brook.

This is the dovecote
Here's the path thro' Cogan Wood ...



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