Stanwick Lakes (2004-2008)
21 Nov 2008
Situated at the centre of the River Nene Regional Park (RNRP), Stanwick Lakes cover 500 acres of former gravel pits in the Nene Valley. Previously owned by Hanson's Aggregates, East Northamptonshire District Council purchased the site with the view of creating a visitor attraction of local and regional significance. The Rockingham Forest Trust in partnership with the RNRP is managing the project on behalf of East Northamptonshire District Council to enhance recreational and leisure opportunities. Whilst this project encourages access to the countryside it also encourages conservation of the site's wildlife.
The unique selling point of the project is that it combines active outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling and water sports with interpretations of the rich archaeological heritage and the internationally significant wildlife. It is a showcase of good environmental practice in both development and management. Construction and repair work on the infrastructure has now been completed. An exciting new timber play/ adventure area has been created.
Further developments have incorporated:
- a central building providing indoor activities and visitor interaction carbon neutral and of attractive and striking design due to open Easter 2009.
- a bicycle hire centre providing further recreational opportunities, but also a steady revenue income to assist in the long-term sustainability of the site
- water sports facilities offering canoeing, sailing and windsurfing
- interpretation of the site's heritage and wildlife value
- an iconic outdoor stepped grass amphitheatre, providing an innovative cultural and community resource for family entertainment
- a willow structure providing a focal point of natural art
- engagement with the local community through volunteer programmes
This exciting project has many potential benefits for the local communities, whether as individuals, families or interest and activity groups. The Rockingham Forest Trust is specifically developing facilities to interest young people, in consultation with various youth groups.