Lake Restoration Works - FAQ's

Lake Restoration Works - Frequently asked questions

Will the park be closed?

No - the park and museum will remain open during the works, however, where there is a particular area being worked on these areas will have restrictions in place to keep the public safe.

How much disruption will there be, I like walking my dog, and bringing my children to play?

The park and museum will remain open during the works, however, where there is a particular area being worked on these areas will have restrictions in place to keep the public safe, so there will be fencing to stop people going into the work areas, especially where there is machinery moving about, there will also be a site compound at the bottom of the car park, but the general parkland, the play area, walled gardens and Hall will all be open.

I’m getting married, will everywhere be covered in mud, and will the diggers be by the Hall and Deer shelter?

There will be some light mud between May and the end of June on the East side of the parkland, (opposite side to the deer shelter) visually the area should look fine as the grass will grow through very quickly. The diggers will be in the lakes and along side the lakes, they will be moving backwards and forwards but their impact won’t be near the Hall or Deer shelter, there will be some work in the Fairyland lower pond and the stew ponds near the car park, but this will be carried out early in the project and the impact will be low (low noise – and a couple of weeks), our functions team will be happy to talk to you about your specific queries or concerns, please contact Vicky Taylor –

Will there be big diggers making a lot of noise and how long will the work be going on for?

The work will begin in April to desilt the lakes and should be finished (weather permitting) by the end of July, they will start at the top pond (near the car park) and work their way down to the bottom lake, there shouldn’t be high levels of noise, just the movement of the vehicles.

Will the footpaths be closed?

The footpath from Barkhouse Lane along the south of the lakes will be closed for the duration of the works, however, the paths from Cawthorne will be left open for as long as possible, there will be a gated arrangement, so you may have to wait for a few minutes to be let through.

What about the geese and ducks, fish and other animals?

We’ve had specialist in to do extensive survey work to find out what we have in and around the lakes, and an ecology management plan has been developed to ensure precautions are taken to protect wildlife. Because the work is in small areas using small buckets on the machinery the wildlife will be able to move out of the way, this includes fish, birds and amphibians. Anything found that can’t move out of the way will be relocated where practicable. There will be an Ecologist on site monitoring the work being carried out.

What are you doing to stop the lakes silting up again?

It is difficult to stop the lakes from silting up, over the years the weather has changed meaning we have more flood instances, and the farming methods up stream have changed to ploughing rather than grazing which is washing more soil into the brook, which makes its way to the lakes, to help slow down the silting we are making the lakes narrower which speeds up the water flow this keeps the silt in the water so it doesn’t settle, we are also looking at ways of controlling the amount of geese as they erode the banks and their faeces also damages the water, this will be done by changing the way we mow the grass in the parkland, as the geese and ducks like short grass.

Will there be fishing once the work is done?

No, as the bait encourages rats and the fish get overfed.

Will there be boating on the lakes, and if so what about the wildlife?

We are looking at introducing boating on the middle lake, this hasn’t been finalised yet, as we need to find someone who would be interested in running it as a small business, rowing boats doesn’t affect wildlife.

I think this is a complete waste of money when there are big cuts in public spending, how can you justify this?

The project will ensure that the Listed heritage and wildlife value of this important site is preserved now and in the future. The money is largely coming from a Heritage Lottery grant that given to ensure that key features, like the lakes are restored to their former glory.

How can I find out more?

There will be information panels put up around the site giving you information on what we are doing, in particular there will be further information on the fencing to the site cabin.

As well as updates on our website you can also see how the project if progressing through our Facebook and Twitter pages

How can I get involved?

You are welcome to get involved as a volunteer, there will be plenty of opportunities to help us plant up the lake banks, learn about the lakes and water quality, and the wildlife we have and how we are trying to look after the site. Or if hands on isn’t for you we will be holding regular drop in sessions where you can ask questions and have a tour of the works. These will be advertised on site and on our webpage or contact us directly by e-mail at