Fylde Council has received a confirmed National Lottery grant of £1.476 million for the Fairhaven Lake and Garden Restoration project. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project can now fulfil its ambition to make Fairhaven Lake and Gardens one of the finest marine lakes in the United Kingdom!

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund, the project aims to conserve and restore Fairhaven’s heritage buildings and landscape, improve the lake’s infrastructure and water quality, and provide an exciting new programme of events.Situated on the Fylde Peninsula on the Lancashire Coastline between Lytham and St Anne’s, historic Fairhaven Lake and Gardens is one of the borough’s most popular attractions. The park consists of a 10-hectare marine leisure lake, historic gardens laid out by Thomas H Mawson and Sons, a wide range of sport and recreational facilities together with a traditional lakeside café.

The site plays host to the RSPB Discovery Centre on the gateway to the Ribble Estuary, one of the most important sites for birdlife in Europe and a designated Ramsar site, Special Protection Area and SSSI. Although the park remains a hugely popular tourist and resident destination, it is in much need of development to preserve and restore its physical heritage as well as introduce activity for a wider range of audiences.

What is being restored?

The restoration objectives focus on 4 key elements; buildings, landscape, lake and activity.

Key features of building works include:

  • External and internal restoration of the pavilion café building (original 1896 golf club house)
  • Internal development of the current Isaac Dixon Boathouse (1920’s) to support water sports and community activity
  • Restoration works to the Pagoda Building (1901) which is currently home to the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre to enable a wider range of park heritage interpretation and act as main welcome centre to the park

Key features of the landscape works include:

  • Improved facilities for tennis and bowls
  • Changed planting to restore historic vistas
  • Restoration of the Japanese Gardens
  • Creation of full perimeter pathway
  • Forest School Island and Winter Bird Roost
  • New adventure play area

Key features of the lake works include:

  • Lake dredging and aeration
  • Lake edge innovative pilot projects
  • Reconstruction of the Lake Inlet/Outlet (courtesy of the Sea Defence Project)

Key features of the Activity and Interpretation include:

  • Information points around the gardens to highlight the historic importance of Mawson’s design and highlight the site’s international importance for wildlife
  • Education offer expanded in partnership with RSPB and others
  • Increased volunteer activity – in partnership with FOFL and UR Potential
  • Significant increase in water based activity – kayaks, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, open water swimming
  • Arts/Crafts/workshop activity delivered by private partners with links to hard-to-reach groups
  • Annual events programme to include outdoor theatre, performance arts, sailing regatta and much more

Next steps and programme

Although the project will start in January 2019, physical work on lake and gardens are due to be started in August 2020, with the project due for completion at the end of 2021.

How you can support/get involved

The project is looking for volunteers to support a wide range of activity. For more information contact Julie.vale@fylde.gov.uk

You can follow the projects progress with details of events on Twitter with @Fairhaven HLF and on Facebook through the Friends of Fairhaven Lake page, and you can download the landscape masterplan here.