Campsite plan for Stanwick Lakes

Stanwick Lakes

Stanwick Lakes

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A campsite could be introduced at Stanwick Lakes in a bid to generate more income for the popular attraction.

Since the site opened near Rushden in 2006, there have been more than 1.7 million visits.

But while its popularity has exceeded all expectations, Rockingham Forest Trust is now looking at ways to offer more to its visitors, as well as help generate income.

As part of a long-term sustainable capital finance plan for Stanwick Lakes, additions being considered include a campsite and hydropower to generate electricity.

Work is being carried out to see if these are feasible for the site just off the A45.

Rockingham Forest Trust director Alyson Allfree said: “There’s potential to do more. What we are consciously trying to do is to get a balance between the wildlife and the recreational side of things here.

“Because it is a nature reserve, that puts quite a few constraints on what we might consider doing.

“We are looking at a number of things, and one of them is hydropower.

“We have looked at the potential for a campsite, but again, we have got to do some investigation.”

Mrs Allfree said: “We estimate that since we opened in 2006, we’ve had 1.7 million visits, that’s a lot more than anyone expected.”

But she added: “We have to always be looking at how we will create enough sustainable income to maintain that in the future.

“We want to offer new things but also generate income because it is a social enterprise.”

Another idea for the future includes offering more for couples who want to hold their wedding at the 750-acre site.

Small weddings can be catered for, although Mrs Allfree said they would like to offer weddings on a larger scale.

She said it could be two or three years before they see any of these plans coming to fruition.

However, there will be a new addition to the site in the new year with the opening of a new birdwatching platform, suitable for families as well as keen birdwatchers.

She said: “We are going to be opening a new bird viewing platform so people can see the rarer birds that the valley is known for.”

These rarer birds include golden plover, lapwing and wigeon.

Stanwick Lakes is managed by Rockingham Forest Trust in partnership with East Northamptonshire Council.