Family Fun at Longham Lakes Open Day

On Saturday 21 September we held our second Community Open Day at a very sunny Longham Lakes, near Ferndown. Over 400 people of all ages attended the event and were able to take part in a variety of activities, both on and off the water.

The kayaking and canoeing ‘have a go’ sessions, run by Dorset Ultimate Canoe and Kayak Squad, proved extremely popular as did the stand up paddleboarding run by Matt Lennox, Centre Manager for Roadford Lake in Devon, one of four activity centres run by South West Lakes.

Also making a trip up from Devon was the South West Lakes Trust Invasive Species Officer, Nicola Morris, who was there to remind everyone the importance of ‘Check, Clean Dry’ when partaking in water-based activities and raise awareness of other invasive non-native species.

For the nature lovers the Longham Birders’ Group ran birdwatching walks throughout the day and spotted a Greater Scaup, a scarce visitor to Longham and a Kestrel among other species.

Members of the public were also given the opportunity to have a go at some Coarse fishing, with the help of the Ringwood & District Anglers Association and Wimborne & District Angling Club. It was great to see so many youngsters getting involved in the sport, taking part in long distance casting and float fishing.

Poole Radio Yacht Club were kept busy throughout the day with their popular ‘have a go’ sessions and Christchurch and District Model Flying Club’s flying simulator was a huge hit.

With so much on offer visitors to the site quickly built up an appetite and, thanks to the Longham Scouts, were able to enjoy some delicious food from the BBQ, helping to raise funds for their Troop.

Linda McMullen, Business Manager for Bournemouth Water Leisure, said “It was great to see Longham Lakes full of activity, helped along by the sun shining down on what was the last proper day of summer. Thanks must go to all of the volunteers from the local clubs and beyond who came together to deliver high quality have a go sessions, along with the South West Lakes team who travelled up from Roadford Lake in Devon. The day raised awareness with many of the visitors commenting what an amazing place Longham Lakes is and a lot of interest in coming back to carry on with activities or just a walk.”

Bournemouth Water Leisure, part of South West Lakes Trust, manages the 2 reservoirs at Longham, a large portion of Christchurch Harbour including lower reaches of the rivers Stour and Avon and works with partners at Blashford Lakes near Ringwood. For more information email bwleisure@swlakestrust.org.uk.

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