Lonsdale Road Reservoir (also known just as “Lonsdale Reservoir” or, from its shape, as “Leg O’Mutton Reservoir”) is a reed-fringed lake surrounded by woodland. It is bordered on the west by the Thames, to the north by playing fields, to the east by Lonsdale Road and houses and to the south by a mown lawn squeezed between the Thames and the road. The site is owned by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and is designated as a Local Nature Reserve.

Address: Lonsdale Road, London SW13 (Map:; OS grid reference TQ217773).

History Edit

The site is a disused reservoir.

Habitat Edit

Reeds fringe much of the lake. More diverse aquatic vegetation at the southern end includes Bogbean and Frogbit, both rare in London. The lake has rafts to encourage nesting by water birds. The reservoir’s steep concrete banks show only in a few places because of the growth of thick scrub. The surrounding woodland is mostly of Sycamore. Work by the BTCV has cleared views to the water and provided diversity in the flora and fauna.

Species Edit


Tawny Owls 16 April 2010

Tawny Owl at nest and owlet April 2010 at Leg o'Mutton (pics Michael Mac)

Nesting birds include Pochard, Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Tawny Owl (at least 2 owlets seen 2010), Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Grey Heron - all successful in 2010. The Tawny Owl seemed to disappear in 2012? Spring and autumn produce commoner migrant passerines and waders (Common & Green Sandpiper, both in Spring 2010 and Autumn 2012). Summer visitors include Common Tern and Hirundines (probably hunting trips from the nearby London WWT). The winter population of waterfowl includes good numbers of Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Teal, Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant and Gadwall.  Wigeon has been found -visitor from the WWT- in 2012. Local populations (Bushy & Richmond Parks) of Mandarin and Red-crested Pochard also put in appearances sporadically. Redwing and Fieldfare visit the surrounding playing fields and woodland. Birds nesting in the woodland areas include Great Spotted Woodpecker, Whitethroart, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.  Water Rail has been recorded in 2009, 2013 and recently in 2016, but this is a difficult bird to locate due to frequent dog-walker disturbance.

An anonymous contributor to this site reported the following breeding birds in 2005: Mute Swan, 1 nest, 3 young; Canada Goose, 2 young; Moorhen, at least 5 young; Coot, 2 pairs, 6 young; Mallard, 3 pairs, 10 young; Grey Heron, 5 nests on rafts, 8 young; Kestrel, 2 young; Sparrowhawk, 2 young; Blue Tit, 3 young; Great Tit, 3 young; Wren, 1 young; Blackbird, 3 young; Robin, 2 young.

Rarities: Subalpine Warbler (April 2003), Garganey (March 2008) Scaup ( February 2011)

Other vertebrates

This is one of London’s better sites for feeding bats, with Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Noctule, Leisler's Bat, Daubenton's Bat and Natterer’s Bat all recorded. Four species of amphibian can be found, including the specially protected Great Crested Newt.


Information needed, please

Practicalities Edit


By car, follow Lonsdale Road (B350) west from the south end of Hammersmith Bridge or north from Barnes Bridge and park in Verdun Road. If arriving by public transport, the nearest stations are Barnes Bridge (National Rail) and Hammersmith (London Underground). From either station, pedestrians can approach the site mainly along the Thames Path rather on roads. Bus routes include 33, 72, 209, 283, 419 and 485.


The site has free public access at all times, and is therefore worth a visit if you are too early for the London Wetland Centre. The footpaths can be a little muddy during the winter months.


Apart from a few benches (mainly at good viewing points), there are no on-site facilities. There is a convenience store and off-licence a short way along Verdun Road.

Listings Edit


Patch List 2010 1: Goldfinch. 2: Greenfinch. 3: Chaffinch. 4: Great Tit. 5: Long tailed Tit. 6: Blue tit. 7: Robin. 8: Blackbird. 9: Coot. 10: Canada Goose. 11: Pied wagtail. 12: Black-headed gull. 13: Wood pigeon. 14: Carrion Crow. 15: Starling 16: Mute swan 17: Mistle thrush 18: Common Sandpiper. 19: Ring-necked Parakeet. 20: Lesser Black-backed Gull. 21: Moorhen. 22: Cormorant. 23: Teal. 24: Gadwall. 25: Shoveler. 26: Tufted Duck. 27: Wren. 28: Dunnock. 29: Mallard 30: Sparrowhawk. 31: Goldcrest. 32: Magpie 33: Common Gull. 34: Green Woodpecker. 35: Great Spotted Woodpecker. 36: Song Thrush. 37: Pochard. 38: Stock Dove. 39: Little Grebe. 40: Redwing. 41: Mandarin. 42: Sedge Warbler. 43: Jay. 44: Kestrel. 45: Great Black-backed Gull. 46: Willow Warbler. 47: Chiffchaff. 48: Song Thrush. 49: Jackdaw. 50: House Martin. 51: Sand Martin. 52: Ruddy Duck. 53: Blackcap. 54: Grey Wagtail. 55: Grey Heron. 56: Swift. 57: Reed Bunting. 58: Common Tern. 59: Reed Warbler. 60: Peregrine. 61 Green Sandpiper. 62:Fieldfare. 63: Swallow. 64: Egyptian Goose. 65:Buzzard.

Patch list taken from the LBC website from the following contributors: M Bourne, R Petley, L Freeland-Haynes, N Mahieu, et al.

please add on any of your own additional sightings.

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