A NATURE reserve which enthusiasts hope will form part of a huge riverside country park played host to a pack of birdwatching brownies on Saturday.

A visit by 21 members of the 1st Marlow Brownie pack to the Spade Oak Nature Reserve allowed the young explorers to study for their Wildlife badge.

Members of the Bucks Bird Club and the East Berks RSPB Group also helped lead the trip along the nature reserve, nestled between Little Marlow and the River Thames.

A nesting swan, a little egret, common terns and their chicks, greylag geese and goslings, mallard ducks and ducklings were just some of the 40 species seen.

Su Jones, the Brownies Brown Owl said: “This is a fabulous resource that virtually none of the Brownies had ever visited before and yet it is a wonderful place to introduce children to a truly astonishing variety of birds and other wildlife.”

The visit was organised by Mike Overall and Jim Rose of the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park Partnership, who lobby for the long awaited country park project around Westhorpe Park to become a reality.

It would see the creation of a protected public space along a large section of riverside near Little Marlow alongside the Spade Oak reserve.

Mr Overall said: “It was very satisfying to see how much enjoyment the Brownies got from their visit.

“The Little Marlow Lakes area offers a huge potential for a wide range of recreational pursuits and it is very walkable from both Marlow and Bourne End.”