Billy’s Lake……the project continues…..

This summer the Project team arranged a Barbeque Open day for invited guests and supporters to showcase progress in the development of the area….. Steps with handrails have been installed to the fishing areas, or ‘swims’, together with the recent installation of a footpath down to the lake enabling those with pushchairs and those with mobility issues to access the lake. Work on improving the ‘swims’ continue with a ‘rubberised’ platform on one of the swims, hard edging, rubble infill in other areas, and clearance of overhanging vegetation around swims to facilitate fishing. This summer a secure container store was purchased and installed on site for the storage of tools, equipment and a dinghy bought to enable clearance of rubbish, discarded fishing tackle and excess vegetation.

Work continues on the management of vegetation on the site. Many small trees have been trimmed and pruned, ground vegetation has been cleared in areas to promote regeneration of fresh ground cover vegetation and to promote the establishment new plants

More work is planned. Sainsbury’s, one of many local business supporters, have financed two pond dipping platforms, planned for installation in the New Year. The hard footpath from the car park on Southdown View up to the lake is hoped to be completed next year.

Many activities have been held in the area including, bat watch and moth trapping evenings, fishing taster days, a spooky Halloween trail, pond dipping sessions for youngsters, coppicing and tree planting sessions. Many people have visited the lake to see the resident pair of swans who nested earlier this year and produced three fine cygnets, their visit being welcomed by the swans, especially if you have bread. Visitors to the lake may also be lucky to see the local kingfishers, mallards and other birds whilst being watched by the area buzzards. In addition some people, during the summer used the site for family picnics

The Off The Hook fishing club, affiliated to the Billy’s Lake project, continues to grow providing a forum for young and adult anglers in the area and beyond.  At present there are some forty members who meet regularly and fish different venues every month.

Almost all of the maintenance and management work on Billy’s Lake is carried out by a very small group of volunteers, who meet one afternoon a week and one Saturday every month. Progress is obviously slow, so why not come along and join in, get some exercise, fresh air and improve this piece of waste land that you all wanted turning into magical hideaway where you can all go to escape your flats and houses.

If you are interested in helping out or would like more information on Billy’s lake or Off the hook fishing club please contact the conservation officer, John Candlish-Welford at Billyslake@acorncentre.org.uk or Telephone 02392-258423 for Fishing contact Roger Pulley at Offthehook@acorncentre.org.uk