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Testwood Lakes, near Southampton, is a valuable water resource for Hampshire and a haven for wildlife which is managed in partnership with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
The Testwood Lakes Centre is open to the public and offers a wide range of walks, bird-watching and community and educational events.
The site was created in 2002 and is made up of three areas – Little Testwood Lake, Testwood Lake and Meadow Lake.
Little Testwood Lake is a reservoir which is able to store 270 million litres of water which is pumped from the River Test when water flows are high enough.
Testwood Lake is a natural feature for wildlife and Meadow Lake is the main conservation area, which is home to a bird-hide.
The centre is home to a permanent exhibition on water, wildlife and conservation and runs events for schools and community groups. The events are run by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and are linked to the National Curriculum.
Courses for adults also include flintknapping, bird identification, bushcraft and living willow sculpture.
Hundreds of volunteers help keep the visitor centre open and take part in conservation projects at the site, including wood chipping, pond clearance and coppicing.
During the construction of the lakes, Wessex Archaeology discovered the remains of a timber bridge, part of a boat and a rapier from the Bronze Age about 3,000 years ago. Information on these can be found in the visitor centre.
Testwood Lakes is also home to a water efficient garden.