Working together for wildlife in Hampshire

Testwood Lakes nature reserve © Southern Water 

Southern Water and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust come together to celebrate a 15 year partnership

Testwood Lakes, near Southampton, is a valuable water resource for Hampshire and a haven for wildlife.

Southern Water has been working in partnership with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust at the site to since 2002 to manage the nature, conservation and recreational aspects of Testwood Lakes.

At the event on Friday (29 June), New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis, CEO of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Trust Debbie Tann and Southern Water CEO Ian McAulay were joined by more than 20 guests to celebrate the successful partnership and look ahead to many more years of collaboration.

Ian McAulay, Southern Water CEO, said: “Over the past 15 years, many thousands of people have been able to connect with the wild world around them at Testwood Lakes.

“The site is a perfect example of the way water sources can be engineered to provide resilient supplies to customers and also be a haven for wildlife.

“We are proud of this flagship partnership with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and are grateful for their many years of support.”

The Wildlife Trust is the nation’s most active and influential nature conservation partnership protecting wildlife in every part of the UK.

Debbie Tann, Chief Executive at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s inspiring what can be achieved through partnership.  Testwood Lakes is a shining example of how commercial development can and should give back more than it takes from nature.

“This site has been transformed through the hard work of staff and volunteers from a bare gravel pit to the incredibly vibrant wildlife haven that it is today. But we are proud not only of the wonderful array of plants, birds, dragonflies and butterflies but also of the important role that Testwood Lakes plays in the lives of so many children, families and local people who are able to benefit from this natural oasis on their doorstep”.

wildlife tots testwood meadow and centre

wildlife tots testwood meadow and centre

The centre at Testwood Lakes is home to a permanent exhibition on water, wildlife and conservation and runs events for schools and community groups.

Julian Lewis, MP for New Forest East added, “It is extremely rare to come across a project in public life that offers only benefits and has no disadvantages. Testwood Lakes is functional, beautiful and educational as well as providing a vital utility for society.

“It has improved and enhanced the environment, educated 50,000 school children and visiting groups so far and given volunteers, young and old, a chance to add to their expertise and develop their character.

“What’s also impressive about the site is that it is so well-maintained that one would think it had been built six months ago rather than 15 years ago.

“Its therapeutic effect on all its visitors is a welcome contrast to the well-known pressures of modern society and yet it is performing a task of great practical value to that society.”

 For more information, visit: www.hiwwt.org.uk/testwood-lakes-education-centre.

Testwood Lakes nature reserve birthday © Southern Water

Testwood Lakes nature reserve birthday © Southern Water 

Notes to editors:

For images from the event and further information, please contact Southern Water media team on 01903 272230 or via email: mediateam@southernwater.co.uk

Further information on Testwood:

The site was created in 2003 and is made up of three areas – Little Testwood Lake, Testwood Lake and Meadow Lake.

Little Testwood Lake is a reservoir which is able to store 270 million litres of water from the River Test. Testwood Lake is a natural feature for wildlife and Meadow Lake is the main conservation area, which is home to a bird-hide.

About Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust:

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust strives to create a better future for wildlife and wild places in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. 

We’re the leading wildlife charity in the two counties and with the support of our 26,000 members we’re taking effective action to protect our natural heritage.

We’re also part of a UK-wide partnership of 46 Wildlife Trusts; together we are the nation’s most active and influential nature conservation partnership protecting wildlife in every part of the UK. www.hiwwt.org.uk