Bordering our village is some beautiful countryside.
The lake from the birders viewpoint on the west bank - January 2001 - Picture courtesy of Paul Earle
SPADE OAK LAKE BIRD SANCTUARY AND MIELLENNIUM PATH
The fact that we have that path is entirely due to the tenacity of ONE MAN : Christopher Wallis. He was then the Chiltern Society Footpath rep. for Little Marlow & was asked by the Parish Council to attend the Public Inquiry to object to Folley's plans to divert the footpath to beside the railway line. As he always believes in the positive approach, he suggested the route which was adopted. This was not supported by the Parish Council: at the time the PC rep at the Inquiry (who had best be nameless) called him "a little monkey".
It was back in 1966 that the Folley Brothers began to dig the former farmland in Coldmoorholm Lane that we now know as Spade Oak Lake, to extract the valuable flood plain gravel that was in great demand for the motorway, building program. Since then the site has developed into an integrated facility incorporating sand and gravel extraction, readmix plant, inert waste recycling and land filling.
It may interest younger readers. and those new to the parish that a footpath originally crossed through what is now the lake. In 1968, a public enquiry, was held at which Little Marlow Parish Council sought to retain a path running from Coldmoorholm Lane westward to Little Marlow. Footpath No.4, as it is so elegantly known. now runs some 200 yards north of its original line. Thanks to the tenacity, of Little Marlow Parish Council and the Coldmoorholm Residents" Association, this well used path, forming part of a pleasant circular walk. is available for the use of future generations.
Gravel is no longer dug from Spade Oak, but the area is used by the current owners, Lafarge, as a depository for gravel dug elsewhere,. Much of the aggregates removed from the Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation Scheme (MWEFAS) is stored here today.
It was in 1999 that the Parish Council and Lafarge began discussing a permissive path around the lake to celebrate the new Millennium. Now a new footpath and bridge have been built over the stream on the eastern side to link with the existing network of paths, and a bench sited at a convenient location. I
The official opening, and a small ceremony to mark the handing over of the agreement for the permissive footpath to the local community took place on the 26th April 2002.
Little Marlow gravel pits lake is officially declared a nature reserve. By Ben Funning
BUILDING BRIDGES: Vice Lord Lieutenant of Bucks Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, with representatives from Lafarge Aggregates and Little Marlow Parish Council, opens the bridge to the now nature reserve.