|Bedfont Lakes Country Park||Hounslow|
Although Bedfont Lakes Country Park opened as a new park in 1995, laid out on a former contaminated landfill site, in the 1890s the area was part of a large orchard that supplied Covent Garden. Part of the area was also used for gravel extraction from the 1860s until the 1950s. An oak tree was planted on 5 November 1996 near Motte Lake to the north of the park to commemorate it being handed over to LB Hounslow by Hanover Property Unit Trust and Rutland Management Ltd.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2012
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The land here was once owned by the Duke of St Albans that was leased out for farming. In 1780 William Sherborn of Bedfont purchased Fawn's Manor Farm, and it was his grandson, also William, who planted the orchard here in c.1897 on what is now the south side of the country park. This was one of a number of orchards and local farms in the area that supplied London with produce up until the 1920s, and a few old apple and pear trees still survive in the country park. Gravel extraction took place here from the mid 1860s, with a small quarry located at what is today the north end of North Lake, adjacent to Clockhouse Lane; Finger Island next to Black Hide formed the southern boundary. From the 1930s the site was worked for sand and gravel extraction for new housing and road building but this ceased in the 1950s and it was then used as a landfill site for domestic and industrial refuse. At one time described as the largest pile of rubbish in Europe, it ceased to be used in 1973, but polluted lakes, derelict buildings and machinery remained on the land. In 1988 Hounslow Council granted planning permission for the surrounding industrial developments and negotiated with the developers for the creation of a country park.
Bedfont Lakes Country Park has been developed as a water-focused nature reserve, the lakes created from the former waste tip, and it has grassland and woodland, with paths throughout. It gained Nature Reserve status in 2000 and has won a number of national and regional awards including a Millennium Marque and the London in Bloom Wildflower and Environment Trophy.
David Pape, 'Nature Conservation in Hounslow' Ecology Handbook 15, London Ecology Unit, 1990