Conningbrook Lakes Country Park
Conningbrook’s main lake update
Following the results of some recent water samples analysed by the Environment Agency the lake is now open for all water sports activities organised by accredited clubs and associations.
We’d like to remind visitors that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and should not be permitted to enter the lake at any time.
Wildlife and leisure themes for public art at Conningbrook Lakes
Celebrating wildlife and leisure at Conningbrook Lakes were the twin themes to emerge from the public art consultation held on October 6th at Conningbrook Lakes in Ashford. The local community were asked to contribute their views and ideas for a series of public art installations being devised for Conningbrook Lakes Country Park and the planned new residential development at Conningbrook Lakes in Ashford, Kent. Ideas and input were received from groups including volunteers for Kent Wildlife Trust, pre- school group Brambles, who meet regularly at the park and children from Ashford Beavers Group, who were led in a creative session by Kerry Lemon with the youngsters producing design ideas for park benches.
The former quarry site at Conningbrook Lakes is to be transformed by a multi-million-pound development of 300 new homes in a lakeside setting, together with the improvement of facilities at the country park to support its existing water-based and running-track leisure facilities. Up to three locations have been chosen for public art within the new housing development, with potentially up to seven art installations at Conningbrook Lakes Country Park. Once the blue-print in the form of a Public Art Strategy is agreed, a range of artists will be commissioned to create a series of bespoke artworks to reflect the new community and the natural habitats, flora and fauna of the countryside park.
About Conningbrook Lakes
Conningbrook’s unique setting presents an opportunity to boost the borough’s leisure, recreation and countryside conservation offer by providing a gateway for walkers and cyclists to explore the Stour Valley, and to extend and enhance riverside wildlife habitats. Conningbrook Lakes Country Park is a project to gradually transform the former quarry site next to the Julie Rose Stadium into a family orientated country park around the existing lakes, offering a variety of leisure and water-based activities for residents and visitors.
While the public can walk freely around the park, participation in all water-based activities are organised through specialist clubs and associations.
The long term public facilities are being funded by the building of homes to create a lakeside village alongside the country park. Brett is in active negotiations to deliver the housing element and is working closely with Ashford Borough Council.
The country park opened on Monday 25 May 2015 and makes the most of a beautiful environment that has been created by Brett through sensitive restoration of former gravel workings. The park is managed by a partnership involving the council, Ashford Leisure Trust, Kent Wildlife Trust and Mid Kent Fisheries.
With a beautiful lakeside setting, views to the North Downs and access to a network of country trails, Conningbrook Lakes Country Park is a family-friendly facility for visitors to explore and enjoy. This park is another stunning attraction for Ashford, and reinforces the borough’s reputation as a great place to live, work and relax.
When to visit
The Country Park is open the whole year, but accessibility will vary according to the seasons, and certain areas may be off limits at times due to ongoing development work.
Conningbrook Lakes Country Park is open seven days a week, from early morning to early evening. For opening times please visit Ashford Leisure Trust - Julie Rose Stadium page
Although basic infrastructure is now in place to allow visitors to walk around parts of the lake on informal and unsurfaced paths, visitors should be aware that all parts of the site, including the main access track, can become extremely muddy or flooded during the winter and in periods of high rainfall.
There is currently no circular walk around the main lake as part of the site is currently being developed for housing, so for the time being visitors must retrace their footsteps.
Please note: members of the public are reminded to obey the signage and keep dogs on leads and not let them go in the water at any time.
If you require more information on opening times or to find out about accessing the park for swimming, sailing or other water sports, please contact Ashford Leisure Trust on 01233 613131.
Subject to weather conditions, vehicular access via the Julie Rose Stadium is available for registered blue badge holders ONLY, and there are two lakeside disability parking spaces (please contact the stadium reception for the gate to be opened).
During the summer months it may be possible for disability scooters to use the unsurfaced tracks, but these are not suitable for use during the winter and early spring.
The boat launch area includes a wheelchair accessible ramp and disability hoist, which are for use under the supervision of accredited clubs and associations.
As the country park develops there will be further improvements to disability access and more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in water sports.
Conningbrook Lakes Country Park is provided by Ashford Borough Council and Brett and operated in partnership with Ashford Leisure Trust, Kent Wildlife Trust and Mid Kent Fisheries.
Ashford Leisure Trust will manage access to the country park via the Julie Rose Stadium and co-ordinate all the water-based activities through the local clubs and associations. To find out more call 01233 613131.
Kent Wildlife Trust will manage the areas designated for nature conservation. They will be running tasks and events to highlight and improve the wildlife across the country park. To find out more call 01622 662012.
Mid Kent Fisheries will continue to be responsible for managing fishing on the lake. To find out more call 01233 730668.