Lakehouse Lake Project

Background notes to the Jubilee pond (June 2004)

The ‘Jubilee Pond’ is to be found at the South end of the Borough of Leytonstone, on Wanstead Flats, bounded by Lakehouse and Dames roads. It started life in 1907 as a ‘Model Boat Pond’. It was re-developed as a wildlife pond in July/August 2002. The official re-opening of the pond took place on 12th July 2003.


Water Source

Water is provided via a borehole which goes down to the chalk layer. This guarantees water level is maintained through summer. The actual water pipe is to be found at the car park end and when working ripples on the water surface can be seen. Water depth varies from 1cm - 1.3 meters.


The Islands 

There are three. Starting from the car park end first is Pigeon Island, so called because during the building and very early days, hundreds of pigeons used this particular place as a roosting site. As a result there was a noticeable spectacular plant growth in the first year. The other islands have now somewhat caught up. Next is the Centre (or Middle) Island. There is now strong plant growth here. Finally is the South Island which strangely is still more grassy and for some reason shows less growth.

Note the Anti-Goose rails around all islands. Their purpose is to stop Canada Geese nesting on the islands yet allowing ducks to do so.



Besides the water surface the largest feature of the pond is a peninsular just beyond Pigeon island. At present it is flat and has scant grass coverage, so the most interesting part is the Peninsular Bay which was intended and planted as a reed bed. Unfortunately due to the depredations of the Canada Geese flock the whole lot was eaten. If more are to be planted protection will be needed from the geese.


Special Features

There is a dipping area at the South side of the pond. A protective rail stops dippers wandering out into the deep water. There is a bank at the side which has a profusion of plant growth and recently the area has been planted with mature iris and reeds which are flourishing. The Canada Geese (as yet) will not go into this area probably due to the rail and bank which stops sight lines. Our pond wardens have also found this to he one of the most bio-diverse areas of the pond. Maybe this will change with time as the pond evolves.

Another noticeable and perhaps surprising feature is the amount and extent of shallow banks from the shore. This was a deliberate part of the design. This type of pond has now disappeared over most if not all of the South East so it is hoped that this unique environment will lead to the re-introduction of special types of flora and fauna. There is also a Green Barrier situated by the Flats side of the pond to separate the area from the Fair and Fair-goers, whom in the past parked all around the old pond. This is a low mound planted with heathers and gorse.


{This article taken from an update release by the Lakehouse Lake Project in 2004 (courtesy Lakehouse Lake Group)}