Last week, the Trustees instructed local agents Web Paton to offer for sale on the open market Lake 68, also known as Hailstone Lake, in the parish of Ashton Keynes.

The Cotswold Water Park Trust purchased Cleveland Lakes (Lakes 74 and 68) in 2003 with the purpose of developing the site into the Cotswold Water Park’s top wetland nature reserve and to provide facilities for both visitors and water activities, such as rowing, sprint canoeing, dragon boat racing and triathlon.

Since 2003 the Trust has carried out major restoration works that have greatly enhanced the site’s value for wildlife and also opened up public access.

However, little progress has been made towards achieving the Trust’s vision for the water activities at Cleveland Lakes and the Trust has recently concluded that while it possesses the necessary skills to develop the wildlife aspect of the Cleveland Lakes project, it does not have the capacity to realise the potential of the proposed water activities lake, i.e. Lake 68.

With this in mind, the Trust has taken the decision to market the Water Activities Lake (Hailstone Lake) in an attempt to engage a potential partner with which it can continue to realise the potential of Cleveland Lakes. Bids will be received from all interested parties up to 12 April 2017 following which the Trustees will make a final decision.

The proceeds from the sale of Hailstone Lake will also enable the Trust to repay a significant portion of the loan which is secured against Cleveland Lakes. This loan, which dates back to 2010, was vital in helping the Trust through the aftermath of the fraudulent activities of the past Chief Executive.

Responsibility for the Wildlife Lake (Lake 74), the newly created reedbeds and other wetland habitats will remain with the Trust and we will also be taking steps to screen off these areas from Hailstone Lake should it be sold.