Published: Tuesday, 21st January 2020
After securing £252,000 from home builders, Sevenoaks District Council is now working to attract a further £1 million to revitalise Bradbourne Lakes in Sevenoaks.
The five ornamental lakes date back to 1740 and once formed part of the Bradbourne Estate before Sevenoaks Urban Council took over responsibility in 1935.
In the following years, Sevenoaks District Council and the community worked together to maintain the much-loved park recently investing in new fencing, gates and benches.
The Council is now seeking the biggest overhaul of the Lakes since they were built to secure their future for generations to come.
In 2018, the Council employed leisure experts, Land Use Consultants (LUC), to seek the views and priorities of visitors, the Bradbourne Residents’ Association and the wider community. The public wanted action to desilt the lakes and repair the lake edges, repair broken structures and the paths, cut back overgrown vegetation and make changes to support wildlife.
Last year, the Council invested a further £60,000 employing LUC to draw up a vision to improve the lakes. The company carried out detailed tree, wildlife, water and structural surveys before unveiling the vision estimated to cost nearly £1.3 million. The improvements include:
- Draining and repairing some of the lakes and removing more than 5,000 tonnes of silt
- Repairing paths and creating a new circular walk
- Repairing bridges and other structures
- Creating a new nature play area
- Pruning trees
- Establishing a wet woodland habitat
- Adding new plants throughout the lakes to support wildlife
- Creating deadwood areas, such as log and brush piles, to support reptiles, small mammals and invertebrates
- Putting up bat and bird boxes
Sevenoaks District Council has already secured £252,000 towards the improvements from home builders under the 'Community Infrastructure Levy', a charge collected by the Council on new, larger developments in the District. It is now working with LUC to bring in further external funding.
Cllr Margot McArthur, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner and Greener, says: “The Bradbourne Lakes are a jewel in the Sevenoaks crown and have long been a favourite destination for visitors – but there is lots we’d like to do to polish this gem.
“The community has told us their priorities for these historic lakes and renowned leisure experts, Land Use Consultants, has drawn up an exciting vision which conveys their ambitions.
“We’ve already banked more than quarter of a million pounds towards the improvements. LUC have an excellent track record of securing external funding and we are hopeful we can attract even more money for this exciting project.”
The Council's Cabinet agreed to work with LUC to apply for external funding for the Bradbourne Lakes improvements at its meeting on Thursday 9 January 2020.