|The Lake is the largest stretch of open freshwater in The Woodland
Education Centre. It was created in about 1830 by the victorian cleric Dr Copleston, who was the landowner and Bishop of
Before the Lake was recreated as part of the Wetland
Project in 1991/2, it was only 10% of its current size. Although starting out
much larger, it had silted up over many years, with tangled rhododendron
growth encroaching across the entire lake area.
The Wetlands Project was a major undertaking. It involved an army of workers as
well as the services of two tracked swing shovels.
Following clearance of the rhododendron, thousands of tonnes of silt were removed by
the swing shovels. These heavy machines used log ramps to avoid sinking into the mud
and water. The silt was stored on either side of the newly created lake, forming
sloping banks which would later be colonised by a host of plants and animals.
These gently sloping sides of the lake created in the process make it suitable for a
variety of plants and animals, each of which favours a different depth of water.
Water enters the lake from the stream, the depth of water in the lake is controlled by a
sluice gate. To lower the level, the sluice is partially opened, allowing more water
to flow out of the Lake. Normally the Lake is kept full and water flows out over a
spillway at the western end. It is here that Beautiful Demoiselle damselflies are
seen during the summer as they flutter gracefully amongst the water loving