Birdwatching - Loe Pool

Loe Pool - Carminowe Creek
Loe Pool - Carminowe Creek

Loe Pool is the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall. Encircled by paths and woodland walks and encompassing a variety of wildlife habitats including swamp, deciduous woodland and open water, the lake, known as The Loe, lends itself perfectly to birdwatching. Thought to have been created in the 12th century, when violent storms cut off the Cober Valley from the sea and created a massive shingle bank, known as Loe Bar, the Loe rests in the centre of an attractive estate now owned and managed by the National Trust.

A well-maintained footpath runs around the perimeter of the lake (a distance of around seven miles), taking in the great bar itself, as well as Carminowe Creek, Loe Marsh - a great silted area where trees grow out of the mud in a fashion that is strangely reminiscent of a mangrove swamp - and Degibna Wood, where huge numbers of Cormorants can often be seen nesting in trees by the water's edge. Look out for a well-placed hide shortly after Helston Lodge, with its picturesque boathouse, from where you may well spot Widgeon, Teal, Pochard, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot and Shoveler.