State of SSSI Marl Lake at Houghton Regis Chalk Pit (2019)

Photographs I took this weekend show the further decline of the SSSI Marl Lake in Houghton Regis Chalk Pit. As the water dries up it also presents further opportunity to clear up discarded rubbish and fly-tipping. If only there was a management team capable of managing it. Although it was managed up until 2017 out of funds provided by Bovis Homes development at Lake View, new funding from other developments has yet to come forward.

Above: A scene in 2014, Below, the reed beds dried out in 2019 and entry by foot is easily made to capture this shot showing the shrunken lake. 

In the comparison below see the difference 4 and a half years has made. The water level used to be up to the trees on the far side, and on the near side the bank, too, has been left exposed.
Top: May 2019, Bottom Nov 2014

Meanwhile, other deterioration is taking place around the chalk pit: Man-made steps are eroding, having been vandalised, and there was evidence that a saw had been used.

As to fly-tipping, these discarded power cable covers have been brought here (one wonders why to bother with the effort of that?) having been first been cut open and the metal inside them removed.

Entry to the Chalk Pit is via a footpath running between Fieldstone, off Lake View, and the Watling Road, opposite French's Avenue:

Read what Wildlife North Chilterns Chalk Facebook Group had to say about this.
Below, read what Houghton Regis News Desk readers had to say about this.


Marl Lake Shrinks Back in Summer Heat (2018)
Chalk Pit Viewing Bench Disappears (2018)
Chalk Pit: Litter Picker's Dismay At Weekend Mess Sun-Lovers Leave Behind (2017)
Houghton Regis News Desk Flickr Album of the Chalk Pit (2012-18)