‘Swanhaven’ lake in Northampton is devoid of wildlife and teaming with detritus

A toy sports car pokes out of the gloom at Swanhaven lake in Thorplands.
A toy sports car pokes out of the gloom at Swanhaven lake in Thorplands.

Urgent action has been called for after water levels of a Northampton “beauty” spot dropped so low wildlife has fled and a rusty toy sports car emerged from the deep.

The so-called Swanhaven Lake off Crestwood Road, Thorplands, used to see around 100 of the protected birds and geese flock there on a daily basis.

Swanhaven, Thorplands

Swanhaven, Thorplands

But yesterday the water line had sunk so much there was no wildlife there and years of dumped detritus could be seen poking out of the gloomy bog.

Northampton Borough Council, whose responsibility it is to maintain the man-made lake, says its decline is the result of a lack of rainwater in recent years.

Deputy leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Mike Hallam, said: “We are aware of the concerns around the water levels at Swan Haven Lake and are currently investigating how we can help manage the natural processes of water decline alongside the Environment Agency, Anglian Water, local councillors and residents.

“The lakes in the area are man-made and the water table is significantly lower now than it was when the lakes were built 30 to 40 years ago.”

Swanhaven, Thorplands

Swanhaven, Thorplands

Councillor Dennis Meredith (Lib Dem, Talavera) says what little water is left is also becoming polluted through the spill of diesel.

Last month the Chronicle & Echo reported how four cygnets had died after a spill of diesel flooded into the lake from the Round Spinney Industrial Estate area.

Now Councillor Meredith has called on the council to take urgent action to save the lake, built in the 1970s to enhance the Southfields area.

“Lots of wildlife has been killed and drowned down there,” he said.

“Cygnets were found dead, it’s full of silt and it’s going to cost the council a hell of a lot of money to put right.”

And he added: “I know the council say the issue is a lack of natural water and rainwater.

“But it could be that the site has been poorly maintained.”

The Southfields Residents Association is to hold a meeting to discuss how best to save the lake at Southfields Community Centre, in Farmhill Road, on Monday, October 19.