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
Summer Opening Hours
9.00am – 5.30pm (Monday to Saturday)
9.00am – 4.00pm Sunday & Bank Holidays
Winter Opening Hours – from 29th October
9.00am – 4.00pm (Monday to Sunday)
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 10am-3pm. Dec 27th-30th, 10am-4pm. New Year’s Eve, 10am-2pm. New Year’s Day, 9.30am-4pm. 2nd Jan, 9am-4pm.