Adderbury Lakes have now been designated a Local Nature Reserve.
Photographer – Silva Tree Photography
Adderbury Lakes is owned by Adderbury Parish Council. It is first and foremost a nature reserve with the main aim being to provide a breeding habitat that is secure as nature and visitors allow. The area is a wonderful local amenity and it has been calculated that there are something like 3,000 visitors each year, many of whom come regularly to fish or just to enjoy its peace and quiet.The Lakes comittee regularly organise working parties, made up of willing volunteers from the village, to tidy and maintain the Lakes area, reports on these working parties will be available soon.
Cherwell District Council has published an online booklet about the lakes. Please click here to download it.
The present site consists of two small lakes fed by five springs rising from sites between the Aynho Road and Long Wall public footpath to East End and once formed part of the Adderbury House estate. Lancelot “Capability’ Brown, is known to have been commissioned to produce a design for a park for Adderbury House and a rough but undated sketch of his idea of a ‘fine serpentine stream of water’ is contained within one of his workbooks and is believed to date from around 1768.
The Lakes in their current format were created by the then owner of Adderbury House, William Hunt Chamberlain, who also created several structures in the Lakes area, the Ice-House, the boat house, a summer house, the small covered viewing seat (marked as a Garden Seat on Capability Brown’s plan) and a covered spring head dated 1848. These structures still remain, although the summer house is now much reduced in size and reshaped since the restoration and reclamation of the lakes in 1986.
The Lakes area can be accessed by two entrances: one in the north east comer via Long Wall footpath; through a doorway in the wall; the other is in the north west comer of the area approached via Lake Walk (residential estate) which runs alongside Adderbury House. Three car parking spaces are provided at this entrance for sole use of visitors to the Lakes
The lakes area contains a wide diversity of insects, birds, mammals and plant life. The tree cover is extensive with some of the trees dating back to the early 1800′s.
The northern boundary of The Lakes area is bounded by an ancient stone wall (Long Wall) and elsewhere the boundaries are hedged and fenced with the original metal railings.
Photographer – Silva Tree Photography
Spring at the Lakes
The Lakes reopened in March after the successful felling of 14 poplar trees. It was a major project to fell and extract timber from the site and the contractors did an excellent job limiting damage wherever possible.
The support of local residents for bearing with us during these works was appreciated. The project could not have taken place without the co-operation of Adderbury House and the commitment of project manager Andrew Barnes.
Large timber was transported and sold to Helmdon Sawmill and to Cotswold Fuels Limited. Habitat areas will be created from some logs and the Lakes Management Committee are still exploring options for disposing of surplus timber and thus hoping to raise some further income for restoration work.
Paths, particularly at the northern end suffered from the felling and extraction process. Working parties have used wood chips generated as part of the felling operation to improve path surfaces at the North end. Priorities for the rest of the year will be to plan replanting trees and hedges and to seek funding for major footpath improvements.
A big thank you to the members of our regular working parties who have helped prepare and clear the site and for ongoing maintenance and restoration work. Please check the Lakes notice board and village website for details of these.