Families, dog walkers, and lovers of the countryside will gather at a reservoir this weekend for a protest.

Campaigners have organised for an event to take place at Aldenham Reservoir on Sunday protesting against actions taken by the reservoir's private owners in recent months.

The "beloved" reservoir looks very different to what it did at the beginning of the year because one metre of water has been drained.

And the construction of a fence this month by owners Liberty Lake Leisure Ltd, which has put a stop to circular walks of the reservoir, has spurred campaigners into action.

Read more: Fence constructed at Aldenham Reservoir

Protesters are being asked by the Save Aldenham Reservoir campaign group to meet at The Fisheries car park in Watford Road, Elstree, from around 3.45pm.

Attendees are asked to bring facemasks, adhere to social distancing, dress in black as if they are "mourning" the loss of the reservoir, and bring a bright flower.

People will walk along the reservoir from 4pm, pass the sailing club - which ended its tenancy this year due to the water level reduction - and stop at the dam wall.

Borehamwood Times:

Pictured in the background is the dam wall at Aldenham Reservoir. Water used to run right up to it

Borehamwood Times:

This dam wall appears to have been the catalyst for all that has changed this year.

Owners Liberty have reduced the water level to ease pressure on this dam wall - they did this despite a dam engineer stating no "immediate action was required" on the wall, although they did suggest Liberty may want to consider dropping the water level.

Protesters will leave the dam wall and head to the car park of Hertfordshire County Council-owned Aldenham Country Park where they will lay the flowers.

Borehamwood Times:

This fence has blocked off access to walkers on the western side of the reservoir. Currently, this is not a right of way.

Elstree resident Dan Ozarow, who is helping to organise the protest and uncovered the information that no immediate action was required on the dam wall, says this protest could have taken place "a lot earlier".

Dr Ozarow said: "We are hoping to raise awareness among local people of the threat to the reservoir and show the strength of feeling to the owners to get them to open the gates and restore our reservoir.

"We have been very patient not calling for action earlier because we wanted to give owners the benefit of the doubt in trying to find a solution. Now the gate is closed there is an immediate target for anger that the owners could so easily reverse."

Borehamwood Times:

They also hope the protest will encourage the owners to sit down with members of the community and Hertsmere Borough Council to try and find a solution.

Liberty, which has owned the reservoir since 2015 and described it as the "jewel of Hertsmere", is aware of Sunday's protest.

Liberty co-owner Mahesh Gosrani said: "We are aware that the Elstree and Borehamwood Residents Association is organising a peaceful protest on Sunday.

"Firstly, we are deeply sad and frustrated that we have had to close public access to the circular walk around Aldenham Reservoir until further notice.

"Since taking on Aldenham Reservoir, our dream has always been to protect and preserve this natural treasure for the local community, for generations to come.

"As a local family, we have been visiting the reservoir for walks and picnics for the past 30 years at least.

"We love the reservoir and appreciate how important it has been recreationally for the local community."

  • For more background about what's been happening at Aldenham Reservoir, please click here .
  • For more information about why a fence has been constructed, please click here .