Thursday 18 January 2024

Planning Appeal Dismissed

 Great News - the Planning Appeal against refusal to develop the land adjacent to the Nature Reserve has been dismissed and the site therefore remains safe from development for what we hope is a good few years.

More details can be found at:

Monday 8 January 2024

Guided walk for waterbirds with Andy Harding 17.12.23

Andy is the former county Bird Recorder for Buckinghamshire and visits Linford Lakes Nature Reserve every month to count waterbirds for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

Fifteen of us gathered in the car park on a bright and dry morning in December 2023. Andy began by explaining how he counts all the waterbirds at the reserve and surrounding lakes each month. He then sends the records to the BTO for including in the Wetlands Bird Survey. We started off by counting 8 Great Crested Grebes on Blackhorse Lake and then noticed two groups of Lapwings coming together high over our heads, in a loose flappy flock of alternating black and white shapes. Some of us needed more practice at counting large moving flocks but the consensus was an estimated 120 birds. 

We then moved on to the reserve past the Sand Martin bank which was constructed in 2019 by the Friends group. It successfully hosted some nests in the pipe chambers this year. Andy pointed out the large permanent light trap for moths next to the centre building. We walked past the carved wooden bench installed as a memorial to the late Gordon Redford who was a long-standing moth recorder here, faithfully identifying and releasing the night’s catch over many years. The carvings included representations of Scarlet Tiger, Clifden Nonpareil, and, demurely on the reverse side, one that Gordon liked to call Large Yellow Underpants (actually Underwing). 

On the main lake viewed from the Warbler Hide we could see a good number of 12 Shovelers which breed in north and west Europe; a Great Egret becoming a more common resident in Milton Keynes; and 8 Little Egrets, also increasing their UK populations. There were 2 Pochard, much fewer than the numbers that used to come for the winter, probably because they have found just as amenable wintering grounds closer to their breeding sites in eastern Europe.

On the way to the furthest hide, the Heronry Hide, we spotted a group of active Siskins feeding in the alders, and noted a Goldcrest and Great Spotted Woodpecker. From the hide we saw a smart male Goldeneye, a species which spends some of the winter locally in small numbers, more in North Bucks than in the south of the county. It kept us guessing as it spent a lot of time disappearing under water. But then it had a rest to preen so we all had good views. Other birds were 43 Tufted Ducks, Gadwall, Teal, and a few Mallard, a duck that is decreasing in numbers. Hiding among the trees on the island were 10 Little Egrets. One of them was just standing with its legs in the water which seemed unusual but perhaps it found the water warmer than the air. The wind had become stronger and ruffled the plumed feathers on its back. Andy reminded us that it was to preserve this species from being shot for fashionable feathered hats that led to the origin of the RSPB. The island is also home to Grey Herons, which begin thinking about breeding there in January. Herons manage to move among the branches, if looking rather ungainly, but Andy pointed out that Cormorants also nest in trees despite their webbed feet. 

After a final check and a chat in the Otter Hide, the group thanked Andy for leading the group in such a friendly and informative session.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Update on Appeal re Planning Application - 18/10/23

Letter from MK Planning Department 18/10/23


APPEAL BY Templeview Developments Limited
(1) Full application for the change of use of 68.65ha of agricultural land to a linear park and a new access road to the Linford Lakes Study Centre with associated works including the stopping up of the public road in Stanton Low and demolition of the Marle Inn; and (2) Outline application (matter of access to be considered, with matters of layout, scale, appearance and landscaping reserved) for up to 277 extra care apartments (Use Class C2); a care home providing up to 70 bedrooms (Use Class C2); up to 41 retirement bungalows (Use Class C3) and up to 196 homes (Use Class C3) with communal amenity space and other associated works.
AT Linford Lakes , Wolverton Road, Milton Keynes , MK14 6GH

EIA development (submission of new EIA information, 30 day consultation)

Appeal Reference: APP/Y0435/W/23/3321221

We are writing to advise you that the appellant for the appeal has submitted further EIA information, which the Inspector has accepted as part of the appeal documentation. He has asked me to notify of this and give you an opportunity to make comments on it. You have 30 days from the date of this letter (by 17th November 2023) to comment on the new information.

The new EIA information can be viewed at Public Inquiry – 21/02533/OUTEIS – Linford Lakes | Milton Keynes City Council (

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Work Party Sunday 24th September - 10 am Start

Just a reminder that we will be carrying out work to finish painting the warbler hide and bridge and to cut back surrounding vegetation. Your support would be very welcome so please do come and join us if you can. All tools and equipment will be provided but please wear suitable clothing and footwear and bring gloves if you have them although we do have a small supply of spares.

We start at 10 am and aim to be finished for 1pm.

Monday 24 July 2023

Appeal Against Refusal of Planning Permission Update 17/08/23

The appellant has been asked to provide further information and they have therefore requested the appeal hearing be delayed. Follow the link below for further information.

Letter from Planning Inspectorate:

Dear all

Further to my email below, I write to confirm that the inquiry will open at 10.00am on Tuesday 5 December 2023, sitting 5-8 December and 12-15 December.

Proofs of evidence are due on Tuesday 7 November 2023.

These dates supersede the deadlines set out in the CMC summary note issued on the 4 July 2023. If deemed necessary, the Inspector will issue a revised timetable following publication of the additional information relating to the Environmental Statement.

Kind regards Holly

Holly Dutton

Inquiries and Major Casework Team

The Planning Inspectorate

Monday 12 June 2023

What's Going On

We have received a few enquiries regarding what the position is with the reserve, if and when the centre will be finished and what is happening regarding FoLLNR events.

The Centre Building Renovation

According to the Parks Trust at our last meeting with them at the end of May, the appropriate licensing etc regarding bat roosts and relocation of great crested newts found within the building site area are in place. Newts found within the construction site will be relocated to appropriate areas outside the building area but will remain on the reserve. Newt proof fencing is scheduled to be installed and revised planning permission to allow for the changes required to cater for the wildlife is expected very soon. Work should therefore be able to resume towards the end of the summer with completion sometime in the spring of next year.

The Parks Trust also have plans to instal a few more benches around the site and to do repair and refurbishment work on boardwalks and bridges, although some of this work may need to coincide with the reopening of the centre building.

FoLLNR Events

Work parties

We continue to arrange work parties on an ad hoc basis depending on what's required and availability of helpers, materials etc. We always send out an email to all registered Friends to advise when and what work we would like help with. Whilst the centre building is unavailable we don't have toilet, washing and catering facilities available and therefore we try and keep work periods fairly short to avoid any discomfort. Please look out for emails advising of forthcoming task days. Work parties are a good opportunity to meet like minded people and you will never be asked to do anything with which you are not comfortable or beyond your capabilities.

Open Sundays

We would like to resume open Sundays as soon as is practically possible, but of course this is entirely dependant on the completion of the centre building.

Guided walks

Thanks to Andy Harding and Keith Gander for leading a very successful "Warbler Walk' in early May - an unexpected bonus on the day was the sighting of an otter on the main lake. We may be able to organise other similar events over the course of the year but again due to the lack of on site facilities and limited parking these will need to be limited in size and fairly short in duration. We will email out notice to all registered Friends as appropriate.

Records of Wildlife Sightings

FoLLNR maintain a list of the different species seen on site for each year. This can be seen by clicking on the Species List tab on the top of this website.

Another good way to find out what's being spotted is by going to our FLICKR site:

Please do add your own pictures of anything you capture at LLNR, we would love to see your photos. We also use records of verifiable sightings to update BMERC so that official county records are kept up to date.