New path to Billy’s Lake opens

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A LAKE surrounded by scenic woodland has been made publicly accessible thanks to a new footpath.

Wildlife lovers, the mayor of Winchester Cllr David McLean and deputy mayor of Havant Cllr Peter Wade united for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a trail around Billy’s Lake.

Situated between Waterlooville and Denmead, the tranquil spot has been popular among anglers and dogwalkers for the past 70 years.

Now, it will be much easier for residents to enjoy – after funding from Veolia and the Heritage Lottery Fund paved the way for a new surrounding footpath.

Lillian Wakeley is the community conservation officer for the Billy’s Lake Project, a community-led initiative to restore the area.

Speaking about the importance of rejuvenating the countryside spot, she said: ‘Billy’s Lake provides a connection between the suburban community and the wider countryside.

‘It’s important to me that the area’s natural beauty and wildlife is conserved and enhanced and opportunities to promote the understanding and enjoyment of the area are harnessed.

‘I want to nurture the idea that we as a community have ownership over this place and we must work together to look after it.’

Billy’s Lake is owned by the national builder’s merchant Jewson, which has branches across The News area.

The firm provides a free lease for the lake to the Acorn Community Centre, which kick-started the Billy’s Lake Project seven years ago.

Testament to the site’s new path – which starts at the Southdown View car park and is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs – it is hoped the area will become a growing hub for wildlife enthusiasm.

Anyone who would like to share fond past memories about Billy’s Lake, use the site for a school visit, provide conservation advice or become a volunteer at the spot should email Lillian Wakeley at