Caversham Lakes Watersports to officially close with immediate effect

Caversham Lakes Watersports will cease operations immediately (as of 26th March 2024), following the decision by South Oxfordshire & Reading Council after three remarkable years. It is with deep sadness that we announce the closure, forced upon us by the council’s recent decision to terminate our operations due to an unnecessary planning process.

Throughout our journey, Caversham Lakes has touched and inspired thousands of individuals, families, groups, charities, businesses, and clubs. This is testament to the amazing staff who have made it happen, but also the natural beauty of the lake being surrounded by nature at its most natural state for everyone to enjoy.

Regrettably, the council’s unwavering stance against our existence, despite overwhelming support and evidence, has led to this unfortunate outcome. We are devastated, both personally and for our community, including the loss of 150 summer jobs, cancelled bookings for local businesses, and the disappointment to thousands of users of the lake that now have nowhere to use locally.

For many of you that have been using the lake since we opened and circa 100,000 visitors each summer that come to the magical shores of this hidden gem, we are sorry we have not been able to stay open.

South Oxfordshire Council has been relentless in its quest to never allow Caversham Lakes to stay open from day one and although the facts, reports and surveys speak for themselves, they just don’t want anyone to enjoy the great outdoors. The lake has always had recreational use for general public access and a retrospective application should not have been needed and was forced on us because they didn’t want such a great leisure venue to exist.

Despite our efforts and the outpouring of support, it seems the council remains steadfast in its opposition to our vision. We believe in the coexistence of humans and nature, yet the council’s actions suggest otherwise.

We extend our heartfelt apologies to our loyal patrons and supporters. While we hoped for a different outcome, it seems unlikely given the current state of affairs. However, we remain hopeful for change, especially in this election year. Perhaps with new leadership, there will be a chance to revisit our situation and allow Caversham Lakes to reopen on a smaller scale, in harmony with nature like we have always done and all benefit from this hidden gem. Unfortunately when the Local authority writes that “nature is more important than human life…” you know what you are up against.

Hopefully there will be some significant change whoever gets in and they can see that by supporting the 100,000s of voices and feet that choose to use the lake, that this should be something that no one should be denied access to, when the local authority and the land owner has a contractually signed agreement for Caversham Lakes to be used for recreational use with general public access.

To all those who have cherished our lake, we bid you farewell for now. We are grateful for your support and hope to see you again in the future. Until then, we wish you all the best in finding alternative summer destinations.


Caversham Lakes