Describe your project
The village lake was gifted to our village in 2013. It is located within the Cotswold Water Park where there are many lakes as a result of extensive gravel extraction during the past 50 years. Many of these lakes have been developed commercially for holiday villages and water sports. Our small village lake, in contrast to this, is a quiet space, an oasis of tranquility, where we are aiming to develop the biodiversity of this site.
How will your project benefit your local community?
The village lake is the only common ground owned by the village of Somerford Keynes. There is no playing field, for example. It's a safe space which can be enjoyed by families of all ages. Many villagers take their daily walk round the lake. A public footpath has been established around the lake. It's a peaceful place where people can enjoy the tranquility and thereby improve their sense of wellbeing. We aim to improve the interest/educational value of the village lake if we are successful in our application for funding.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
The Village Lake Committee is a subcommittee of the Parish Council and as such has the support of the whole parish. This shows itself when we have volunteers mornings to help maintain the lake. "As a molecular biologist and lover of wildlife, let me also put in a word for the maintenance of our village lake as a place where species other than humans can thrive alongside us in relatively unspoiled habitats."
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
There are approximately 450 people living in the parish. In addition, approximately 500 people, at any one time, live in the Lower Mill Estate, a holiday village within the parish. They are also encouraged to use the Village Lake as a resource.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
We have a small budget from the Parish Council for routine maintenance and we have several volunteers mornings during the year for pruning etc. If we are successful in our application for funding we will improve the biodiversity of the site and make it more interesting/educational for children and families. We will install a pond dipping platform with nets and buckets and a small shed for storing equipment costing £2,700; owl boxes and camera equipment, costing £1,190; bat boxes costing £240; and a bird nesting floating island costing £950. This makes a total of £5,080. We plan to raise the additional £80 by having a summer barbecue at the Village Lake.
When and why was your project founded?
The lake was created and landscaped in 2003 following gravel extraction. Villagers helped with the planting soon afterwards in accordance with a restoration scheme. Informal maintenance work was carried out by villagers until 2013 when legal title was transferred to the Somerford Keynes Parish Council.