About alderford

The beautiful lake and features at alderford originally began as the result of a new road – the Whitchurch bypass. The new road needed sand and gravels and a site was identified to supply these on land owned by the Bebbington family at Dearnford Hall.

The extraction work – which began in 1991 – created a gaping hole, and this was seen as an opportunity by the Bebbingtons to create a lake. Fisheries scientist Dr Bruno Broughton was consulted and he advised the local water quality was most suitable for trout and so a fly fishing water was born.

Extensive landscaping took place to create islands featuring, shallows, deep bays and gently sloping banks, which were then planted with alder trees, grass and wildflowers. In 1993, the lake opened initially as a private syndicate water and in 1994 as a day ticket water. The wooden lodge was built in 2007. The lodge was used for events and was converted to a café business in April 2011. In 2013 fishing ceased on the lake and the lake became a hub for other activities including open water swimming.

Formerly known as Dearnford lake, the site was renamed in 2017 after the alder trees that feature on the lake’s small islands.

Lessons of the Alder

from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

The Alder is a tree that supports and protects physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Its associations with both weapons and shields reminded the ancient Celts that part of the skill of the warrior lies in knowing when to take up the sword and when to take up the shield. Although an alder shield will protect you and give you courage and an alder-forged weapon will help you defend yourself, ultimately the most important aspect of the warrior is his or her intent. This is the key to success or failure. They alder reminds us of the need to blend strength and courage with generosity of spirit and compassion. There is a time to challenge things and a time to hold our peace. The alder teaches us this discrimination and the need to see beneath the surface of things. It combines the desire for self-preservation with the desire to serve and emphasizes the need for a firm foundation to stand on.