|Winter Solstice Sunset at Tilgate Lake - 21st December 2009|
Late yesterday afternoon, I visited a very quiet and peaceful Tilgate Lake. I didn't stay for too long because of the cold, but the tranquility was nice and I was kept company by the waterfowl and two rats who were obviously hungry as they were active by day.
I was surprised the lake was not completely frozen over like it was during the last extreme cold weather event back in February, and neither was the ice as thick. I would hazard a guess that the record warm autumn and the fact that we are not as far in to winter, means that the water temperature is not as cold as it would have been last February. In the picture which I took, you can see the clear areas further out.
Like many local residents and people from outside Crawley, I enjoy visiting the park and walking around the lake and it will be unfortunate when the paths around the lake have to be closed for about a year in order to allow the improvements to Tilgate Dam to take place. I suppose that someone, somewhere, might be unhappy about it and imply that we shouldn't do the work to help protect Tilgate and Furnace Green and it's homes from flooding, but there is no viable alternative. To save me explaining the details, here is a link to the page on the CBC website with some details of the plans. The page does say subject to planning permission which has now been granted.
This is a major project in Tilgate Park and people may have genuine concerns and questions, so please do drop me a line if you have any. If I don't know the answer, I can certainly find out for you. I must stress that the park will be open as normal but that it will be the Fisherman's car park and the path around the lake that will be closed.
Crawley Borough Council and myself are totally committed to help protect Crawley from flooding although we are not responsible for heavy rainfall in the same way that West Sussex County Council are not responsible for the snow! I suppose blaming the Councils for the weather makes a change from blaming Michael Fish, but if I was to be really flippant, I would joke and say that if you really feel the need to blame someone for natural weather events, try Ed Miliband who is the Minister for Climate Change.