What is the Water Park?

See the Cotswold Water Park  Trust site for all the activities available in the Water Park, which stretches from here to Lechlade, and contains far more water than the Norfolk Broads. Our challenge is to make as much as possible accessible to the locals and visitors. Cokes Pit Local Nature Reserve, is at the end of Water Lane. There is local input into its management, and work parties from time to time. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has Lower Moor Farm Nature Reserve on the Oaksey Road  They often advertise outdoor events, but they are also worth looking to for events slightly further away. Swillbrook Lakes Bird Reserve is accessed down Minety Lane. Ownership has recently changed from WWT to Lower Mill Estate, which has diverted the path around the east and south side of the lakes to take it away from the new houses on Howells Mere. This makes a better path, but loses the open view over the lake, which is where hobbies were first spotted.  
Long Distance Swimmers mass at Keynes Country Park

Birdwatching

The area is famous for overwintering birds, due to the huge number of lakes. We direct you to the best reports, provided by keen watchers to the Cotswold Water Park volunteer Ranger staff. These list lake numbers where sitings have been made. The site has useful maps of lake numbers for you to decipher. The biodiversity staff at the CWPT are keen to know if any Kites seen are juvenile. Look to see if all flight feathers are undamaged, I am told. Reports to the birding blog above, not to us! Cokes Pit is usually good for a variety of birds, and has a hide. Lake 44, just inside the entrance to Lower Mill is often good. A better winter lake is the one further towards Ashton along the Thames Path, Flagham Lake. Starlings before roosting. Lots of Murmurations during February this year. Picture by Les Jones
Birds at Cokes Pit

What’s New?

Keynes Country Park is

CLOSED until 26 May,

as the operator is about

to change.

This does not affect footpath access, the other businesses, Head for Heights, Waterland, and the clubs that operate from there. Take care. Report any damage. Do not attempt to use either playground. Insurers have banned their use. If you are a visitor and wish to walk or cycle the Park, please park at Neighbridge Car Park(£2 all day) and not on nearby roads or in the Village. Thank you. The Elemental Sculpture Park, which has good reviews, is now open for the new season. check their website for times. Calendar of Sporting Events in the WaterPark, including those using public roads. See this link kindly compiled by Waterland on behalf of all event organisers. If you plan to be about on weekend mornings check it for cyclists and runners. An archery and rifle shooting range has recently been constructed in the parish. It can be found off the Spine Road not far from the turning to Lower Mill Estate. Contact The Cotswold Range to book a session

Biking

If you are staying at Lower Mill you can hire a bike on site. Bikes can also be hired at Go-by-cycle at the end of Water Lane.  
Somerford Keynes A Parish in the Cotswold Water Park
© Somerford Keynes Parish Council and contributors 2014-7
What to do Outdoors

Walking

The main path to walk must be the Thames Path  Many walkers pass through the village, stopping for refreshment at the Bakers Arms, on their way to or from London, even though the path proper passes a field away along the river bank. The Cotswold Water Park Trust publishes an access map  on its website for walking, biking and riding. They have published a Walks and Cycling map, only £1 from the Gateway Centre near the A419.  Ashton Keynes Parish  also has a booklet with a selection of walks some of which pass through here.

Watersports

You will find Thameswey Canoe Club, Cotswold Rowing Club and Waterland all on the corner of Keynes Country Park just beyond Cokes Pit. In summer, rowing boats can be hired near the beach on Lake 32. For the many other organisations see the CWP Leisure map mentioned above or call in at the Gateway Centre for a copy.  
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Page last updated 21 April 2017
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Somerford Keynes Amiable Golf Society (SKAGS) is moving again this year. Do contact Alan Macdonald or Pat Cook The Ron Willers Putter 2016 was played by a small band of golfers at Cirencester golf course on Tuesday 4th October. John Whitwell was runner up with 30 points, but the outstanding leader was Sissy Needham with 37 points. The lesser scores were not revealed (to avoid embarrassment?).
Picture Courtesy Les Jones Somerford Keynes Amiable Golfers Society Fran Willers presents the putter to Sissy Needham at Cirencester Golf Course. To Do