Lakes and Ponds
The main lakes at Cosmeston are over 12ha in size with many smaller ponds found throughout the country park for you to discover.
The 12 ha of open water attract large flocks of waterfowl. The east lake is a great place to see impressive numbers of mute swans, mallards and coots and diving birds such as the great crested grebe. The west lake features a conservation area and is quieter than the east lake.
A small island can be found on the west lake an ideal secluded area for breeding birds. Each winter the lakes at Cosmeston attract large flocks of migrating wildfowl such as, teal, tufted duck, widgeon, pochard and shoveler ducks also the star bird attraction, the bittern.
The west lake is the best place to spot the grey heron and occasionally the egret, they usually stand completely still, near the reed beds waiting to catch any unsuspecting, passing fish. Many Cormorants can be spotted on both lakes, these birds are excellent at swimming and fishing and can often be seen holding their wings out to dry after a busy diving session. Resident here all year is the spectacular kingfisher, often all that gives this wonderful bird away is a sharp call and a flash of electric blue as it dashes by.
Unseen to the visiting public the lakes are home to a very rare plant called starry stonewort, this plant grows in water up to 6m deep in areas of limestone or chalk near the sea, thus the lakes at Cosmeston are an ideal habitat.
The lakes, ponds and streams hold many strange and exciting creatures such as newts, diving beetles, water boatmen and slow moving water snails. Newts generally avoid waters where fish are present so are rarely found in the two large lakes. The smaller ponds found throughout the country park, smooth, palmate and great crested newt can be found. Newts are protected by law, it is illegal to catch, possess or handle great crested newts without a licence.
Secretive otters can be seen around the west lake this is an ideal habitat for otters as fish are abundant. Roach, Rudd and Bream form large shoals in the east lake, but this is little protection from the top predator of these waters, the sleek pike.
In the interest of conservation no fishing takes place at cosmeston lakes, no herbicides or pesticides are used on site and the lake water is continually monitored for quality.