Sailing lessons plan for stricken Sunderland lake

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SAILING could be on the cards for a troubled beauty spot.

Pupils from three Sunderland schools have joined a community effort to help restore the Silksworth Lakes back to their former glory.

In the past, wildlife in the area has been targeted by yobs and the Friends of Silksworth Lakes, a group set up in December this year, hopes to clean up and revamp the area making it more attractive to visitors.

About 200 pupils from Farringdon Community Sports College, Broadway Junior School and Thorney Close Primary School, recently took part in a day of activity, with senior managers from EDF Energy, to help out at the lakes, next to Lakeside Social Club and behind Silksworth Sports Complex.

Alan Wright, chairman of the Friends of Silksworth Lakes residents’ group, said: “We are absolutely delighted that volunteers from EDF Energy and local school pupils are supporting our campaign to get the lakes back to their best.

“We’ve had several attacks on some of the wildfowl on the lakes and birds have been shot and set upon by dogs. Our focus is on making the park somewhere that gets used and is a place that people can enjoy and respect. We’re even hoping to introduce canoe and dinghy sailing lessons in the near future.

“Hopefully those criminals that have previously caused harm to the wildlife will stay away if the park is busy.”

Managers from EDF Energy at Doxford Park volunteered to help out as part of the company’s Helping Hands programme, which gives every member of staff the opportunity to take up to two work days a year to support community and environmental initiatives.

The firm donated 3,500 daffodil and crocus bulbs, which were planted on the day by the managers and pupils. The volunteers also helped to litter-pick with the youngsters, and took groups orienteering around the lakes to help them with map reading. There was also a talk about the variety of wildlife that can be found at the lakes.

Simon Warrilow of EDF Energy, said: “We all really enjoyed the day helping at Silksworth Lakes and the pupils did a fantastic job of planting the bulbs and tidying up the area.

“The Friends of Silksworth Lakes will continue to develop the lakes and I’m sure EDF Energy volunteers will be involved again in the future.”

Twitter: @SunEchoSchools