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Leybourne Lakes Country Park, Larkfield

(4.3/5 based on 55 reviews on the web)
Leybourne Lakes Country Park is near Snodland, in Kent, England. The park, which opened in 2004, was created from disused gravel pits that have been flooded and landscaped to make fishing and wildlife lakes.HistoryIn the 1930s a river fed from Leybourne, led past the small hamlet of Lunsford (part of Larkfield) and then past Ham Hill (part of Snodland) to feed into the River Medway.Snodland was once a centre of industry along the river, with papermaking and chalk quarries being the main employers in the town. One of the former chalk pits located near to the River Medway, became Brookland Lake. A public footpath leads from Snodland, past Brookland Lake into Leybourne Lakes.The village of Larkfield (to the south of the lakes) has expanded rapidly since the M20 motorway was constructed in the 1970s and it continues to grow, with new housing developments being built. Mineral extraction also ceased in the 1970s. The gravel pits and surrounding area were designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI). The site was identified in the 'Tonbridge and Malling Local Plan' for development into a country park, with the partnership of Berkeley Homes.The housing development of 'The Lakes in Leybourne' by Berkeley Homes (seen in the photos), was created beside one of the disused gravel pits that had been turned into man-made lakes. The decision to build on this area was unpopular with some Larkfield residents, but the remaining lakes were turned into a country park and nature reserve to offset the impact of this new housing. The lakes and reserve were later handed over to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council in 2004. They are the current owners and maintain the lakes and paths.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A peaceful area in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the commuter belt. I spent an hour walking around the main lake, stopping from time to time to take in the views or to watch the ducks and the ...  more »
  • Having just moved to the area this place is literally on our doorstep. Ideal for a nice afternoon walk taking in the beautiful surroundings topped of by a stop in the local pub that's on the route. Th...  more »
  • Good space for walking dogs, taking strolls or jogging. Bring a loaf of bread as there are plenty of ducks and birds to feed. Lots of water sport activities during summer months: kayaking, scuba divin...  more »
Google
  • Perfect for walks, could do with some more benches around. Pay for parking but it supports the maintenance of the park. Would be nice if there was clearer information about the water sports group here - would love to wild swim but information is unclear and induction looks expensive. Park feels very safe as there is always a ranger around on a golf buggy.
  • Love it.nice walk. Clean and tidy
  • Lovely park, great for a walk or bike ride
  • Great place to walk the dog. Very picturesque...
  • Clean lake, nice walk round it, decent parking (£1 for four hours).