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Staindale Lake by Mike KIpling

Staindale Lake

Take a walk around Staindale Lake in the heart of Dalby Forest and you won’t be disappointed. It may only be a half-mile stroll, but the views are superb – and the resident ducks are sure to make you feel welcome if you bring along a packed lunch! Entrance to Dalby Forest is by toll road (admission charged) – follow the signs on the Forest Drive to Staindale and park in the High Staindale car park, at the eastern end of the lake.

Walk info

Great for:
easy access, family walks, nature nuts
½ mile (800m)
30 minutes
High Staindale car park
Grid Ref:
SE 883 904
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL27
Low Dalby (2½ miles/4km)
Low Dalby (2½ miles/4km)

About this walk

BootThe trail starts at the bottom of High Staindale car park. The route is circular, so it's up to you which way round the lake you go. Numerous seats along the route afford splendid views of the lake.

The path has a compact, hard surface of either tarmac or stone. Boardwalks with non-slip surfaces are also used. Gradients are 1 in 10 or less.

DogsPlease keep dogs on a short fixed lead at all times, to avoid disturbing birds and other wildlife.

Birds galore

Staindale Lake is home to a resident population of mallard and tufted ducks, as well as Canada geese. You may also be lucky enough to spot the odd heron or two, swooping in over the trees for a quick snack. In the car park at High Staindale there is a bird feeding station, which is ideal for close-up views of lots of woodland birds. You might see coal tit, bullfinch, siskin or even (fingers crossed) a great-spotted woodpecker.

A working forest

As well as being a home for wildlife and a splendid place for a day out, Dalby Forest is also a working commercial forest, looked after by the Forestry England. Areas where all the trees have been cut down – known as ‘clearfells’ – are a reminder that one of the main purposes of the forest is timber production. Every 40 to 60 years, the conifers are cut down and replanted, and ultimately the timber is made into paper, fence posts, gates or used in the construction industry.