Lake Farm Country Park is a relatively large expanse of meadow fringed by trees and the canal, situated in the South of Hayes.
Approximately 63 acres in size, most of the site comprises of open grassland and shrubs, both important for wildlife. A trim trail runs through the site, which is recognisable by its skylark monument.
Two areas of more formal open space are situated in the north-western and north-eastern corners of the park, which include short-mown grass, planted trees and children's play areas. There is also a BMX track and a skate park on the western edge of the site.
Address: Lake Farm Country Park, Dawley Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 1EJ
Lake Farm is located about 0.5 km to the south of Wood End, Hayes, immediately to the north of the Grand Union Canal. It is bounded by Dawley Road in the west, Botwell Common Road to the north and Botwell Lane to the east.
The Country Park has 10 formal pedestrian entrances along Dawley, Botwell Common Road, The Grand Union Canal and Botwell Lane. It also has a bridleway entrance, off Dawley Road.
Car: a car park is present off Dawley Road and also adjacent to Lake Farm Academy School just off Botwell Common Road.
Prior to 1814 the area of Lake Farm formed part of Botwell Common, an unenclosed area of common land used for grazing by the parishioners of Hayes. In 1814 the land was enclosed and divided up into a number of parcels, the greater part of the site going to John Baptist Shackle. There were also two large gravel pits on the site at this time (occupying seven and five acres each), in the areas now occupied by formal public open space. It is likely that the remnant hedges along the edges of these areas are enclosure hedges, which would have been planted around this time.
Lake Farm gets its name from an ornamental lake that was located beyond the north-east corner of the site, in the grounds of Lake House, which was owned by Thomas Shackle. The lake was filled in 1954.
By about 1850 the Shackle family were operating brickworks over most of the current Lake Farm site. These were backfilled with clay and other materials and after the Second World War the site was used for the testing of radar equipment for armoured vehicles. The Thorn-EMI company continued to use the site until the early 1990s and relics of the testing facilities remain on site, including a testing tower and a derelict trailer.
Much of the site was formerly managed as arable land, but was more latterly entered into Set-Aside and allowed to develop as grassland, being cut annually for hay by the agricultural tenant.
The site has a diverse habitat structure, including areas of ditch, hedgerow, grassland and ruderal / tall herbs. It is home to skylarks which are included in the UK Biodiversity Action plan for threatened species. More information can be found in the management plan.
There is an active Management Advisory Group and Friends of group involved in the park who also organise events.
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