Connaught Water

11 January 2003 - A Walk Round Connaught Water in Epping Forrest

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The 5500 acres of Epping Forest were purchased by the Corporation of London and declared "open" by the Queen in 1882, as an inalienable possession to the public for all time.

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The construction of this eight-acre ornamental lake started in 1883. It was enlarged in 1893 and the two islands made. Before this transformation, the area consisted of a small swampy pool fed by the drainage from Hill Wood, Fairmead Bottom and Thicket. The aim of the Conservators in the early days was to drain the Forest to improve it for Commoners' cattle and to increase access safely.

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The new lake was named after the newly appointed first Ranger of the Forest, the Duke of Connaught. The catchment area of Connaught Water is the woodland and plains northwards to High Beach from where the water is concentrated into two streams entering at the NE and NW corners of the lake.

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The lake continues to this day to be a popular spot, where until recently boating was licensed. Its reputation for its variety of wild fowl is notable.

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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson