Grid Reference: SJ724094. Access to Priorslee Lake is excellent as it sits just north of the M54 at junction 4. There is a lay-by on your left which overlooks the lake.
An Aerial View of the Lake
Overview of Lake
Alternatively you can park at the Northwest end of the lake behind the CELESTICA (formerly NEC) and RICOH buildings, though parking here is limited to a max of 4 cars.
PLWSA (Priorslee Lake Water Sports Association) Gate
Access is mid-way down Priorslee Avenue, via Teece Drive. Follow the single-track road for approximately 300 metres, lined with "sleeping policemen" and park either side of the PLWSA gate. The lake has a well-worn path, but it is advisable to wear boots, as the path on the north bank can be a bit wet underfoot in the winter.
Wesley Brook looking Southeast
A feeder stream (Wesley Brook) from the nearby Priorslee Flash, feeds the lake even in the cold depths of winter. In the north-west corner is Wesley Brook which flows into the lake remains ice free, even when temperatures dips to -10 degrees centigrade. This is an excellent location to see the secretive Water Rail, especially during the winter months. In fact numbers appear to have risen in recent years and other birds have been seen, in particular the stream in the woods in the north-east corner. Also look out for Siskins, Redpoll, Brambling and Snipe. The feeder stream is a lifeline to the many birds and animals that live in and around the banks of Priorslee Lake.
Overall the lake is fairly shallow, only deepening as it approaches the boulders on the east bank. Apart from this end, the remaining margins are shallow encouraging Herons, small Waders and surface feeding Ducks to feed. Also to be found are good stocks of fish with Roach, Carp and Pike, the latter unfortunately being one of the main predators responsible for the loss of many a young Mallard duckling. However Cormorants are always on hand to redress the balance and small flocks can be seen from January through to March.
The lake is now turning into quite an important Gull roost and the figures shown here were seen on the 29th December 2003:
Some of the usual roosts were frozen over during the day and there were C.5500 gulls C.3700 Black-headed Gulls, 1 adult Common Gull, C.1800 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 83 Herring Gulls, 4 Great Black-backed Gull (2 adults; two 1st winters) and a 1st winter Iceland Gull. More recently Yellow-legged Gulls have been seen in small numbers through the winter of 2005/06.
Rarities in the past have included both Glaucous and Iceland Gulls during the winter months, and in the summer Black Terns and Purple Heron. For the Ornithologist this is an excellent water to observe a diverse range of species through the year.