Needham Market is very fortunate to have this splendid facility so close to the town. It is excellently managed by Mid Suffolk District Council’s Countryside Team. Copies of the Needham Market Nature Trail leaflet are available from Mid Suffolk offices and it is certain that Needham Lake can provide many hours of family entertainment.
Station field was originally rough, open meadowland. During the 1970s gravel was extracted from the field and the pit was flooded to form the lake. Since 1980 the area has been managed by Mid Suffolk District Council for informal recreation. In 1986 the lake was extended to create a pond which attracts and encourages more wildlife. King’s Meadow was also added to the site creating an area of 27 acres. There are numerous varieties of trees alongside the lake including White Poplar and Rowan or Mountain Ash. Walnut trees are to be seen at King’s Meadow. Along the river are Alder and Elder trees and conifers such as Larch and Scots Pine.
The lake is well stocked with Tench, Roach, Perch, Carp, Bream, Chub and the predatory Pike which has been known to snatch and eat ducklings as they paddle across deeper waters. There are marsh plants and reeds which provide shelter for water fowl and where Reed Warblers are known to nest. A great variety of birds visit the lake and its environs making it a splendid venue for bird spotters.
The lake has ample parking space and picnic areas. It is a favourite place for residents of the town and attracts many visitors from further afield. Events are organised for children during school holidays and parties of children often visit the lake during school terms. The surrounds of the lake have also been used for Open Air Theatre and Local Dog Shows.
The Countryside Officer at Mid Suffolk District Council in charge of Needham Lake is Mr Dave Hughes, Tel. No: (01449) 724639.