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Our lake and amenities

The Lake


Dug out of the salt marsh during the 1930s, and is topped up with sea water at high tide from sluices direct from the beach. The resulting brackish water is teaming with life, such as crabs, jelly fish, shrimps and small fish, but presents conservation challenges.

 In previous years, the lack of fresh water has led the swans and some ducks to walk their chicks from the lake in search of other fresh water ponds.

 Clear evidence of the lakes former existence as a salt marsh exists on the edge of the lake : Sea lavender , glasswort, Sea Aster & sea rocket. 

2004 saw the installation of a fresh water pond on one of the islands , to provide clean water for the nesting birds. The work involved the Council and BTCV volunteers. Future plans include extending the reed beds and create a shingle beach to attract waders and the planting of native bushes to provide cover and attract insect.

The three islands made from the mud are now well established with native vegetation, including dog roses and hawthorns. Tamarisks round the edges of the islands provide cover  and perches for birds


Resident lake birds

Protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Mute swan

The mute swans on the lake are a breeding pair. 

During the breeding season the male can become very territorial about the WHOLE lake, and other birds and sailing boats are at risk of being attacked ! 

With a wing span of 208-238 cm - that’s approx 81-93 inches

Resident the UK all year round.



There are plenty of mallards breeding and living on and around the lake. The mallards nest mainly on the islands within the lake. The males have a dark green head and yellow bill. The females having a mainly brown body with an orange bill.



Medium size , all black water bird with a white frontal shield on forehead with red  eyes and coloured bill long green legs and lobed toes that are well adapted to soft and uneven surface. Coots have strong legs and can walk and run vigorously.  Short wings make them weak fliers. Coots are socially gregarious and noisy, using their sharp toes to inflict injuries. They eat the reed shoots , algae and insects around the lake. The coots have been nesting successfully since 2004 here on the lake.



Smaller then the coot and not so colourful, with their red beaks and long legs. Shy birds but always busy looking for insects. The consent flicking of the white underside of the tail  is a signal to predators that the individual is vigilant and therefore primed to flee  from any planned attack. Another breeding bird that has been on the lake since 2004.  Moorhens have a habit of putting their eggs into the nest of other. This strategy guarantee that some of the chicks will survive.

The chicks are little balls of black fluff and learn at a very early age of the danger of other lake birds. Hence they are first class divers and learn to stay under water till danger has passed.


Tufted ducks

Although common in the UK this diving duck is an occasional visitor to the lake. The males have bold black and white plumage with a yellow eye. And a crest on the back of head. The female a brown colour.  Smaller then the mallard .Another good diver. Visiting from as far away as Norther Scandinavia and Russia arriving in September and staying over winter till early spring.

At present there is a pair of Egyptian geese living on one of the islands. This brightly coloured  goose was introduced from Africa in the 18th century. They can be very loud and aggressive. 


Other frequent visitors to the lake includes cormorants, herons, and at present a pair of Egyptian Geese with their young family.


Last years cygnets all grown up !

What to look out for along
Promenade Way 

Lido & Cafe

1/. Car park. Western Promenade. Postcode: CO7 OHH
Location code: 706024. Grass surface 300+ parking
Chargeable from 1 May - 30 Sept  Locked p.m. Height restrictions 6 ft 6 ins
Blue badge holders may park for 3 Hours free charge providing clock is set on arrival time and badge dispatched with expiry date and wheelchair symbol facing outwards
2/.Carpark. Promenade. Postcode: CO7 OHH
Location code: 706023. Tarmac surface  40 spaces

Chargeable from 1 May - 30 September

Blue badge holders may park for 3 Hours free charge providing clock is set on arrival time and badge dispatched with expiry date and wheelchair symbol facing outwards.

Tel: 01255 686868.

Town Hall.  Station Road Clacton-on-sea Essex CO15 1SE

Public Toilets
(Awaiting start date :
specialist disabled toilet and changing facility-has been approved by Tendering District Council-May 2022)

Play area/green outdoor space area
 (ideal for family day out and picnic)

Skate board park  - Open 24/7

Bateman's Tower -  A local favourite for fishing and crabbing.

Beach - near by parking,

National Nature Reserve/circular nature trail/grazing marsh.
For more  information about Brightlingsea visit:
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