The Lake

A unique history

The Lake was created by the Royal Engineers who were based at Waterbeach Barracks from the 1960s until 2013. It provided a great place for training for amphibious assaults and building bridges between the shore and islands, as well as providing important recreation and leisure for the many soldiers and their families based here.

Watch Colonel David Adamson share some of his memories about the building of the lake and how it was used:

A rich ecology

Since then the lake has become a haven for wildlife, with the islands being home to birds including the kingfisher. The southern side of the lake and the lake spur to the north of it have been designed to remain as quiet areas for some of our hero species to flourish: and we even have a corridor running under the road and path to enable species to move about safely.

Find out more from our ecologist James Patmore:

Lakeside Living

The Lake Loop provides an opportunity for people to walk safely around the lake and enjoy it from all angles and north of the lake there is an area for people to relax, sit and enjoy the view, and in time enjoy a coffee from the pop-up café by the lake.

In Spring 2024 we will be working with Cambridge Sports Lake Trust to host some taster sessions on water activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding and for the very brave some organized wild swimming sessions. Those schemes will then help us to develop some permanent facilities to support the right activities on the lake, happening in a safe way for all.

In the meantime, it is really important to follow the safety signs in place and only use the lake as part of organized activities with Urban&Civic or Cambridge Sports Lake Trust.

Pictogram of a swimmer surrounded by a red circle with a diagonal line strikethrough.
No swimming
Pictogram of a dead fish with a hook through it within a red circle with a diagonal line strikethrough.
No fishing
Pictogram of a fish cooking on a barbecue inside a red circle with a diagonal line strikethrough.


A black exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle with a black border.

Deep water