Map, plan, Info and images of the park

First and foremost here's a plan of the park which I have annotated with the various locations, and their names commonly used. It's based on the very small map on the VoG web site page of Cosmeston CP. Click the map for a bigger, clearer, view.

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 'T' junction with what is known as the Mile Road, which is the straight track which runs NW between the two lakes. There's a bit of a gap now opposite the 'T' junction where the above viewpoint used to be. That was closed some time ago due to the fence collapsing when someone leant on it! Common Sandpipers can sometimes be seen on the opposite shore during spring and autumn.
Turning right at the 'T' brings you on to the Mile Road 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 on the left is a viewpoint over West Lake and its reed bed - 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 used to lead 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. However the hide was set fire to by vandals towards the end of 2017 and is no longer there. 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.

Going back to the car park, if you take the Medieval Village boardwalk from the far end you pass a large dipping pond which now has Water Voles which were introduced in 2017. Just after that you reach a concrete path opposite the entrance to the Medieval Village. Turn right and go along this path next to Sully Brook. At the junction at the far end you are meeting the Mile Road referred to above.
Straight ahead 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 ...

1 comment:

Lisa S said...

Visited the park last week, a great place. Hope to go again and find the dovecote. Lovely photos :)