Fishermen will tell you that this lake in West Berkshire is home to England’s biggest freshwater fish – a whopping 62 pound carp. Its presence says much for the quality of a lake that didn’t exist until just a few years ago when it was created by gravel extraction.
It was only six years ago that the last mineral was dug and the processing plant demolished. Which makes it all the more remarkable that it has become a beauty spot, loved not just by fishermen but by the wider local community who enjoy it via the footpaths that have been created.
Set alongside the River Kennet in the village of Woolhampton, the site is owned by the Wasing Estate. The estate has worked closely with mineral operator Tarmac to take it on to a new era with an environment that is rich in nature. But it also includes agricultural land for grazing and for miscanthus, a high energy crop grown for biomass.
There are also areas of wet woodland and scrub, reefs, marginal vegetation around the lakes and species-rich grassland. Such is the ongoing potential that a nature reserve trust has been set up to advise and to enhance the public education potential.
As the owner of the Wasing Estate, Joshua Dugdale is very enthusiastic about what has been achieved here.