© Steve Marshall / Wild Future

Welcome to the Friends of Stocker's Lake Website

This website is owned and maintained by Friends of Stocker’s Lake (FoSL), a registered charity. FoSL exists to :

  1. - conserve, safeguard and enhance Stocker's Lake as a Local Nature Reserve
  2. - help and extend the scope of the work of the warden at Stocker's Lake
  3. - foster public support for and appreciation of Stocker's Lake as a local nature reserve.

Stocker's Lake, near Rickmansworth just inside the M25, is bordered on one side by the river Colne and on the other by the Grand Union canal. It is a place of great beauty and it supports a huge variety of wildlife, especially birds, particularly winter wildfowl. It is owned by Affinity Water and managed by Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, actively supported by local people who are the Friends of Stocker’s Lake.

Within this website you will find details of organised walks and other events on the reserve, news of interesting recent sightings of birds, details of how to join FoSL for a mere £5 per year, and much more.

Work Party - 05 03 17

10am to 12:30pm: Meet by Stocker's House.

Work Party - 02 04 17

10am to 12:30pm: Meet by Stocker's House.

Annual General Meeting - 06 04 17

Our 2017 AGM will be held at 7.30pm on April 6th at Rickmansworth School. See our Annual General Meeting page for further details.

Heron and Egret Watch - 09 04 17

1pm to 4pm: Join us to view the nesting Grey Herons and Little Egrets. Meet on the causeway. Location of viewing dependent on where the birds are nesting. Follow signs from the causeway.

Children under 16 must be accompanied;  Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Please bring your own sting or bite medication.

Spring Chorus and Warbler Walk - 07 05 17

8:30am: Meet on the causeway between Stocker's Lake and Bury Lake. A morning walk to hear and identify newly arrived spring migrant birds.

Length of walk = 1.5 miles with frequent stops. Expected duration = 2.5 hours. Children under 16 must be accompanied;  Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Please bring your own sting or bite medication.

Recruitment Drive - 14 05 17

A recruitment drive on the reserve to coincide with the Rickmansworth Canal Festival & Environment days. Let Ian Watson know if you are available to help.

All events ...

Did you know that FoSL has its own Facebook page? You can visit it here. Our treasurer, Dick Beeden visited Tichwell RSPB reserve in Norfolk over the weekend. Visit FoSL on facebook to see his video of a bittern.

February 2017

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust will be running work parties at the Lake from 10am to 3pm on February 1st and 15th, and again on March 8th and 22nd. Note that these work parties are separate from the FoSL ones and different arrangements apply. However all FoSL members are welcome.

After 13 years Ian Watson has retired as FoSL chairman with effect from the end of 2016. Ian has done a huge amount for FoSL over those years and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He will continue to serve as FoSL Vice Chairman and as Work Parties convener and he intends to continue to spend time working on the reserve.

A 2016 Stocker's Lake Butterfly survey reveals a 28% drop in butterflies counted around the lake compared with the previous year. Although bad, this result is still better than the disastrously low level reported in 2012, and is also a better picture than for the country as a whole, as reported by Butterfly Conservation.

Recent Sightings

11th - Water Rail (near scrape hide), 14 Goldeneye (5 male), 2 Egyptian Goose

6th - Jack Snipe, 2 Water Rail

4th - 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Goldeneye (1 male), 2 Red-Crested Pochard (pair)

29th - Water Rail (river Colne side near blue portakabin)

26th - Water Rail (from scrape hide), Goosander, 7 Goldeneye (3 male), Kingfisher

19th - Goosander (male), Kingfisher, 15 Goldeneye (6 male, 9 female) and on Stocker's Farm - Little Owl

17th - Water Rail, Kingfisher, 13 Goldeneye (4 male, 9 female), 4 Egyptian Goose, 3 Red-crested Pochard (3 male) and on Stocker's Farm - Little Owl

12th - 19 Goldeneye (7 male), Yellow-Legged Gull, Egyptian Goose, Kingfisher

11th - Smew (redhead), 8 Goldeneye (4 male) 9 Egyptian Goose, 4 Red-crested Pochard (3 male)

6th - Smew (redhead), Peregrine (flying overhead), Goosander (male), 10 Goldeneye (4 male), Kingfisher

2nd - Water Rail (from Scrape Hide), 13 Goldeneye (7 male), 5 Red-Crested Pochard 

29th - Smew (redhead), Goosander (male), 17 Goldeneye (5 male), 4 Red-crested Pochard (all male), Barnacle Goose, 100+ Shoveler

26th - Smew (redhead), Goosander (male), 2 Egyptian GooseTeal, 7 Goldeneye (3 male), 5 Red-crested Pochard (3 male)

23rd - Smew (redhead), 11 Goldeneye (4 male), 5 Red-crested Pochard (3 male)

20th - Goosander (male), Smew (redhead), Great Black-backed Gull and at Stocker's Farm : Little Owl

15th - Smew (redhead), Kingfisher (pair), 9 Goldeneye (2 male), Great Black-backed Gull

14th - 2 Egyptian Goose

7th - Goosander (male), 6 Goldeneye (3 male),  16 Red-crested Pochard (11 male) and at Stocker's Farm : Little Owl

3rd - Smew (redhead), Kingfisher, 8 Goldeneye (3 male), 11 Red-Crested Pochard (9 male)

Previous sightings and reports ...