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About Us

The Broadwater Conservation Society (BCS) was formed originally in 1984 by local residents who were interested in clearing and dredging the Lake. Initial quotes for the work proved prohibitive and for a period of time the work faltered, with no clear strategy as to how to move forward. 

In the years that followed, momentum for the project was driven largely by Lesley Birch, a local resident, who worked tirelessly for over 10 years to secure funding for the public Lake path that opened on the north side in 2017.


Sadly, Lesley died in 2020, but it was her overriding wish for the Lake to be restored: 
‘I want to restore the Lake to being something Henry VIII would be proud of! We must save the Broadwater area for future generations of people and wildlife to enjoy, it would be a terrible legacy to leave it in its current state of disrepair and risk losing it forever.’

The current BCS members are inspired to continue Lesley’s work and to see the Lake restored to its former glory. 

How will we do this?

We know that goodwill and support of the local community is behind us already. Our focus is to find a way to finance this ecologically significant project. Funding will allow us to turn the Lake into a space for the local community to be proud of, whilst also securing its future as a habitat for plants, birds and wildlife to thrive, and a natural outdoor space for future generations to enjoy.

The Society has been formed as a non-for-profit, Limited Company*. Today, its members meet regularly to plan fundraising efforts for this next phase of the project. 

The Broad Vision

To create a beautiful natural habitat for plants and wildlife to thrive in, and a stunning, safe environment for everybody in Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames to enjoy – now and in the future.

Meet the BCS Members

Gary Festa


Gary has lived and worked in Walton and Weybridge for over 30 years. A lover of the outdoors and keen walker, Gary is an enthusiastic advocate of the Society’s vision:


We’re passionate about this project – the Lake has such an incredibly rich history and is a beautiful, natural area for local people to enjoy. We’re on a mission to restore it as a haven for wildlife to flourish in, the whole community to make use of, and somewhere that will still be there for future generations.

Midge Connell


Moving to Weybridge from the New Forest in 2021 to join family, Midge Connell and her husband were delighted to settle in Lakeside Grange within the historic Oatlands Estate sharing the peaceful tranquillity of Broadwater Lake.


Having realised the fragility of this precious natural amenity I wish to encourage nearby residents and the local community as a whole to contribute to and benefit from its preservation and enhancement.

Annie Connell

Society Member

Annie is a Weybridge resident, a former Green Party candidate and mother to a young daughter. She is passionate about supporting the natural environment and restoring the Lake as a sanctuary to birds, animals and plants that belong there:


I love walking along the Lake path but it’s sad to see how much work is needed to make the water safe and healthy for the wildlife and for future generations. I would be devastated to think my daughter and her friends could grow up being unable to enjoy this beautiful space in their local area.

James Alexander 

Society Member

James has lived in Oatlands for most of the last 60 years. As a child he was brought up in two of the estates backing onto Broadwater Lake but now resides a short, walking, distance away. He loves the circular route along the Lake and round Desborough Island, for the exercise and particularly for the nature.


"It is rare in Elmbridge to find much biodiversity but the Lake provides it, especially birdlife with so many different seasonal visitors as well as all-year round residents. It is vital the Lake's future is secured and the exceptional surroundings protected for the very special experience it provides for all local residents."

View Oatlands & Broadwater timeline HERE

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