Hatchlands Park Lake Restoration – Guildford, Surrey

Background Information

Hatchlands Park Lake also known as the Sheepwash Pond, is set in over 400 acres of sweeping Surrey parkland that surrounds the 16th Century Grade 1 listed property. As the parks largest expanse of water it is a valuable habitat resource. As well as being used by the local community as a fishing lake and a peaceful picnic spot for visitors, it’s home to a number of species of coarse fish, 15 species of dragonfly and damselfly, birds, wildfowl, bats and other aquatic invertebrates.

Scope of the Project

The banks of this picturesque lake had suffered from severe erosion, which caused the silt levels to increase. Some areas of the lake had become quite shallow and, in the summer months, blanket weed and algae proliferated, gradually reducing the quality of the water and the availability of natural aquatic habitat. As well as this Norfolk reed which thrives in shallow water was starting to colonise vast areas of the lake.

Our Solution

In 2018 with a grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund Aquamaintain Ltd were chosen as contractors to embark on the restoration of this historic lake. Our restoration strategy included the use of a specialist amphibious long reach excavator, which enabled us to de-silt the lake without taking all the water out.

Revetments constructed from woven Hazel were installed to build out the eroded banks and retain the dredged sediment cleared from the bottom of the lake. Large areas of Norfolk reed were removed from the shallow margins opening up the lake and providing improved access for anglers’ and other visitors to the lake.

At the head of the lake, an area of reed bed was retained, and a fish exclusion net was installed to promote zooplankton, insect and invertebrate life. We further increased the biodiversity of the site at the same time as improving water quality. Other improvements included marginal aquatic planting and a kingfisher nesting bank.