The major restoration of a picturesque lake has won a coveted award Westwood Lake in Ardingly, which is part of the 600-acre Wakehurst estate, was given a Landscape and Gardens Award from the Sussex Heritage Trust last week.

The lake is linked to a series of historic hammer ponds, which are part of the post-medieval iron industry in Sussex.

Iain Parkinson, of Wakehurst Place, said: “The project was a complex one and involved many facets, including dredging accumulated silts to increase water storage capacity to supply irrigation water to the botanic gardens. We also installed the new reed bed silt trap which will ease future lake maintenance.

“The project took three years to complete and we know that many visitors have been following progress with interest. We are now delighted they can enjoy it fully restored.”

The one-hectare lake in Westwood Valley is listed as a notable feature of the Wakehurst and Chiddingly Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and forms part of a wider wetland conservation area. The restoration work was part-funded by Natural England under their Historic and Archaeological Protection Scheme.