Lightwater Country Park achieves ‘Favourable’ assessment from Natural England

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce that,

Lightwater Country Park has achieved the highest rating from Natural England for the condition of its ecologically important habitat.

The area of heathland within the Country Park has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Country Park is therefore an area of high nature conservation value, protected by law.

In the most recent assessment by public body Natural England (NE), the habitat management of Lightwater Country Park by Surrey Heath Borough Council has been praised. The report, following NE’s visit in August 2017, said: “The diversity and quality of habitat management actions being undertaken is excellent, and is maintaining and enhancing the heath land habitat.

“It is a result of this diligent stewardship of the Country Park/SSSI site that habitat conditions have improved to bring the site into favourable condition and this is to the credit of Surrey Heath Borough Council.”

The ‘strategic and sensitive signage”, active visitor management, use of goats to control invasive trees and scrub, and abundance of heathland birds such as the Dartford warbler are all commended in the report.

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Day Fishing available at Lightwater Country Park

Surrey Heath Borough Council is pleased to announce that day fishing will be available at Lightwater Country Park from June 2017.

In a new initiative, day fishing will be possible on Hammonds Pond, which offers mixed course fishing so is an ideal place for pleasure angling. There are 10 ‘swims’ (fishing spots) available on the pond. A valid Environment Agency rod licence is required.

Day fishing will be offered from dawn to dusk, starting at the beginning of the fishing season on 16 June. Permits must be purchased from the Lightwater Country Park (LCP) café during opening hours (10am – 4pm).

For those that have arrived at dawn and are already set-up, permits can be bought over the phone by credit card if anglers do not wish to leave their tackle.

The cost to fish at LCP (Mon – Fri only) is:

  •                                        One rod        Two rods
  • Adult                                    £6                   £8
  • Child                                    £3                    £5
  • OAP concessionary rate:  £3                   £5
  • The entire pond is also available to hire for events and competitions at a day rate of £70. Hammonds Pond will be open for fishing from 16 June 2017 until mid-March 2018 when the angling closed season starts.

    More info: www.surreyheath.gov.uk/residents/sport-leisure-parks/parks-playgrounds/lightwater-country-park

    A Swan and Mallard ducks slither on the ice of Hammond’s Pond

    Popping into the Windlesham Parish Council office in The Avenue in Lightwater I spied, in the distance, birds slithering around on the iced-over Hammond’s Pond.

    After my Parish Office visit, on which more later, I toddled over to the pond. I was delighted to see a Mute Swan paddling in the water with no ice. A couple of young families joined me, and began feeding the ducks. The Swan then wandered over.

    The Swan came very, very close to me. I told it that I hadn’t any food. Also, I noticed that it wasn’t ringed. Odd, as I thought that Swans were generally ringed.

    I know one reader – Pippa – will be especially pleased to know we’ve a Swan on our pond. Pippa tells me that their cob [male] Swan on Tomlins Pond died, and his pen [female] has flown away. Pippa is trying to get Swans back on their pond, saying

    I follow Swan Lifeline on Facebook and the Swan Sanctuary too – should your readers be interested. They can follow rescues and swan updates – interesting for me.

    Here are my photos and a short video of the Swan.

    Council PSPO consultation at Lightwater Country Park Cafe on Saturday 7th Jan

    Surrey Heath Borough Council remind residents that time is running out to give your views on Public Spaces Protection Order consultation.

    The deadline is approaching for public submissions from Surrey Heath residents to have their say on proposals to help address anti-social behaviour in public places around the borough.

    2-lightwater-country-park-cafe-official-openingPublic Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) were created by the 2014 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, to regulate activities in public that have a detrimental effect on the local community.

    The council is considering introducing a PSPO to help address nuisances or problems in local public places. A PSPO would assist in taking steps to improve issues such as alcohol and substance misuse, begging and irresponsible dog ownership.

    There’s a range of ways to express your views before the consultation closes on 17 January 2017.

    More information, including an online questionnaire, map and a list of the proposed areas for restrictions, is available at: www.surreyheath.gov.uk/PSPO

    If you wish to receive a paper copy of the questionnaire to complete, please call the council to request this on 01276 707100 or email pspoconsultation@surreyheath.gov.uk

    Or you can come along to one of our drop-in events below:

    •  Lightwater Country Park Café – Saturday 7 January, 11am-1.30pm  
    • Frimley Lodge Café, Frimley Lodge Park – Saturday 14 January, 11am-1.30pm

    The survey responses will be analysed and be used to inform the council’s decision about how the proposed Public Spaces Protection Order is progressed. All answers will be kept confidential.

    Surrey Heath Community Portfolio Holder Cllr Vivienne Chapman said: “This PSPO Consultation is a great opportunity for members of the public to have their say on important issues and I would encourage people to take part, whether online, by post, or in person at one of the drop in events.”

    The council’s Executive will make the final decision about the Public Space Protection Order on a date to be confirmed, with the details of the meeting and subsequent decisions to be published on www.surreyheath.gov.uk

    Dog-friendly café in Lightwater Country Park officially opened by the Mayor

    Lightwater Country Park has a new café that was officially opened this morning by Surrey Heath Mayor, Cllr John Winterton. Surrey Heath Borough Council presaged the opening in an announcement – read HERE.

    Yours truly was in attendance to witness, and record a brief video, of the ceremony. I spoke with Stuart Nicholl of Churchill Catering about the café. They also operate the café at Frimley Lodge Park.

    Here are a few photos of the event, [click to enlarge]

    Hoorah, Lightwater gets another new café, this one in Lightwater Country Park

    Surrey Heath Borough Council announce the opening of a café in Lightwater Country Park.

    IMG_4241There’s nothing nicer than a beautiful walk in the Surrey Heath countryside followed by a cup of coffee and a delicious cake while you admire the view.

    With the opening of the new café in Lightwater Country Park people can take advantage of the stunning surroundings while enjoying top quality refreshments.

    The cosy log cabin-style building offers a variety of Lavazza real coffees, other delicious hot and chilled drinks, hot paninis, freshly made sandwiches and mouth-watering cakes, as well as ice creams and snacks.

    IMG_0096Along with the comfy chairs inside the café, there are also plenty of outside picnic tables and seats for when the sun is shining!

    Open every day from 10am until 4pm, the café has opened on the site of the old visitor centre, which originally had a small hot drink and snack offer.

    Lightwater Country Park comprises of 57 hectares of heathland and lakes, and is a popular location for walking and cycling. An ideal destination for all the family, it has a children’s adventure playground, and plenty of great picnic spots.

    The new café is operated by Churchill Catering, who also run the Frimley Lodge Park cafe.

    Portfolio Holder for Business, Cllr Craig Fennell, said: “This new café is a fantastic addition to Lightwater Country Park – it is already proving popular with park visitors who are making the most of the delicious food and drink on offer in such a wonderful setting.”

    The café will also act as an information point, with informative panels about the Country Park and the Heathland habitats due to be installed on the walls inside. Leaflets and local information will also be available.

    Festive family fun with carols at Frimley Lodge Park & Christmas clue hunt at Lightwater Country Park

    Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced festive fun for all the family in Surrey Heath

    There are lots of Christmas activities taking place in Surrey Heath this December to help get you into the festive spirit.

    Welcome the start of the festive season with some carol singing.  Come to Frimley Lodge Park and join the Surrey Heath Singers on 11 December for Candlelit Carols in the Park.  This is a free event that will take place from 6pm – 7pm.  There will be candles and refreshments available to buy from 5:30pm.

    There is festive fun for all the family at Lightwater Country Park on 20 December.  Along with the traditional Christmas clue hunt around the park, this year you can come and meet the animal stars of the nativity story, including a donkey, a calf and a sheep.

    With craft activities to enjoy indoors as well as a guest appearance from Cracker the Comedy Camel, it’s sure to be a fun-filled day!  This event will take place from 10am – 3pm and costs £4.50 per child (one adult free with every child).