Know before you go
Parking informationNo car park - limited parking in lay-by on A264
Not suitable for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril-October
About the reserve
Hedgecourt Lake is an ancient mill pond resulting from the damming of the upper Eden Brook. At about 800m long, it is the largest body of semi-natural open water in east Surrey. The lake itself is not part of the reserve, which runs along the west of the lake.
As a lakeside reserve, Hedgecourt contains a typical succession of communities from fringing reedswamp through willow carr and wet alder woodland to damp oak woods with birch and hazel.
Where the ground is waterlogged for much of the year, a fen-type vegetation, rich in damp-loving plants are found. These include marsh-horsetail, yellow loosestrife, reed canary-grass, gypsywort, meadow-sweet and meadow thistle – which is rare in east Surrey.
Towards the lake edge this fen grades into tall marginal vegetation of emergent species forming a fringe round the lake, especially at the western end. Here bladder sedge, water parsnip, yellow flag iris, water mint and water plantain may be found.
Extending into the open water there are single-species stands of reed, reed mace and bulrush, with bog bean and the touch-me-not balsam - a local plant for which this is the only site in Surrey.
Twelve species of dragonflies have been recorded here as well as a variety of other insects. The site also supports a number of breeding birds including water rail, mute swan, sedge warbler, woodcock, tufted duck and kingfisher.