Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol CymruNational Botanic Garden of WalesNational Botanic Garden of Wales

Garden Lakes

A beautiful necklace of garden lakes creates a gentle transition from the formal to the informal parts of the Garden

It also provides an important habitat for aquatic flora and fauna.

The Garden Lakes water features were created by William Paxton, the landowner who transformed the original 17th century Middleton Estate into a Regency water park. His ingenious system of lakes, streams, ponds and cascades were formed using dams, bridges and sluices. These not only added beauty to the park but were also designed to provide a state-of-the-art water supply for his new Middleton Hall.

Over time the lakes gradually turned into muddy thickets, so choked with trees that it was hard to believe they had once held clear water.

Now, one by one, the seven lakes are being restored – first Pwll yr Ardd (Garden Pool), then the bridge and weir that retain Llyn Uchaf (Upper Lake), and Llyn Canol (Middle Lake). With the help of a  Heritage Lottery Fund grant to restore our Regency landscape, we are planning to restore the other lakes by 2020.

A lovely path takes you past the lakes, each now abuzz with colourful and busy wildlife. Especially lucky visitors may come across otters and kingfishers.

The damp soil conditions around the water’s edge are also ideal for perennials like winter aconite, hellebores, primulas, irises, astilibes, gunnera and the skunk cabbage, whilst water lilies flourish on the lake surface of Llyn Uchaf.