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homeBack in 1982, David Lucas decided to dig a pond. He persuaded some good mates, hired an excavator and set about a small swampy area on his brother-in-law's farm. At the time, David was working as a garden contractor and tree surgeon, and quickly begged, stole and borrowed plants, shrubs and cuttings from anyone who looked like a suitable donor to his project. Before long, the grass grew back, the new plants took root and started to grow, the pond filled with water – and suddenly, David was admiring his handy work. And quite rightly so. This project became known as Old Pond, which later became Penny's Pond.

Today, Penny's Pond is home to a selection of wildlife including the many fish who feed as readily as piranha.

Not satisfied with the one pond, it was only a matter of time before David (who was by now living on the farm with Dianne) and friends including Nigel Firth decided it would be fun to make another pond – only a bit bigger.

Again, he approached Ken (his brother-in-law farmer who is the owner of Ley House Farm) for permission to dig out the swampy area on the other edge of a little used field, and before long David and Nigel – and anyone else who was gullible enough to offer – were up to their eyes in diggers, swamps and finally, water. The pond was completed in 1989, and was named the Trout Pond, which was later to become Newt's Predator Pond.
Almost immediately David and Nigel decided that it would be 'fun' to turn the rest of the field into one big lake. And after all the red tape was sorted out – that is exactly what happened. This was a serious project !! We had teams of people in, and diggers digging out and more diggers filling in, laying pipes, leaving islands, equipment getting stuck, tracks coming off, men getting stuck, bad backs, dogs getting caked in mud, wellingtons being left behind, much swearing, lots of laughter and tears and a few teatime beers ... and this was how Woodpeckers Lake came to be. This was in 1991.
Woodpeckers quickly settled down to be the most beautiful, serene lake you could imagine. Everyone who had contributed was so proud of the result, we all wanted to enjoy the lakes to ourselves, and so we all did !! We put trout into the Trout Pond (hence the original name) only to fish them out and eat them. They were huge, and they were delicious !! We enjoyed private fishing (and a good amount of swimming in the summer months) for family and friends on the ponds until the business side of life kicked in, and the decision was finally made to open up the lakes for public fishing. Woodpeckers Course Fishery opened to the public in 1996.
We were fortunate. The fishery took off with probably just the right numbers of anglers attending. We knew from the comments that we had got it right. Anglers mentioned the condition of our fish (“They're in good nick !”), the way our lakes were maintained (“We appreciate the trimming up and repairs you obviously do”) the enormous range of species (“I caught 12 different species today !!”) and last but not least (“It's so peaceful and quiet – we love the fact that the world and his brother are not wandering around the place”).
So just as everything was seemingly perfect – we decided to make another lake ! Our market research told us that everyone wanted “another Woodpeckers” and we understood that the quietness and the range of species were the important factors. Ospreys lake was constructed in 2001 by a professional team (rather than us and the dogs ...) and after a period of 'settlement' opened for fishing. This lake has proved itself to be a most welcome asset to the fishery, and a good number of clubs – as well as regulars - choose this lake as readily as Woodpeckers.

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