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© Somerford Keynes Parish Council and contributors 2014-8
Village Lake

Volunteer Morning Saturday 17 March

Mike Wilding writes: Seven intrepid volunteers turned up, battling against an icy wind and snow flurries.  These were John Whitwell, Lisa and Mike Willis, Nick Cartwright, Aideen McEvoy-Wilding, Mike Wilding & Tara McEvoy-Wilding.  Lisa and Tara planted over 50 small hedging plants to fill in gaps around the boundary, whilst the others cleared brambles and scrub with Mike Willis manning the church strimmer, and Mike, Aideen and Nick carting the debris to John's magnificent bonfire. Objectives for the morning were achieved. 


Lake 99 or Village Lake

Lake 99 is a parcel of land once part of Lower Mill Farm that was cut off from the farm by the new bypass built in the 1960s. The rest of the farm is now Lower Mill Estate. The farm was bought by ARC and most of it dug out as sand and gravel. When gravelling was complete, the “moonscape” was left for some years, and after a couple of ownership changes became the holiday village you see today. It might have had a huge lit-up pleasure dome, but we managed to see that off. Our little field was not sold on, but suddenly dug, when the Government decided on a review of gravel planning applications from 50 years before that were not taken up, but still valid. Despite our worries, and after much consultation with the Parish Council and neighbours, digging did little to annoy the village, though caused annoyance from some noise heard by immediate neighbours. The then owners, Hanson, successors to ARC, promised to give the resulting lake to the village. After some years of delay, mainly due to reorganisations of the gravel company - [it is now a German company], we got our lake. The company paid for a management plan by funding an MSc student attached to the Water Park Society, as it then was. A tree planting day with villagers and company representatives took place, then nothing happened for some years before ownership was transferred, during which time the tots in the picture grew into teenagers. Meg, on the left did the management plan, John on the right was the Hanson linkman. On May 5th 2016, an opening party was held. It rained of course. The ribbon, held by Parish Council Chair Sarah Powell, was cut by John Hayward watched by assembled enablers (below) and a large group of villagers, who then had their various picnics, while their dogs (all on leads, as it is a nature reserve) fraternised and children played. The lake is now available for villagers to enjoy, walking, picnicing, playing and looking out for wildlife. A management team has been formed. Councillor John Whitwell is the PC contact.
Pictured are left, County Councillor Shaun Parsons, Parish Councillors with John Hayward (middle) and Jill Bewley (right) from the Cotswold Water Park Trust at the opening ceremony. [Jill is no longer at the CWPTrust].
More pictures will be added over time. Do please send in any pictures that you would like to display
Page last edited 20 March 2018