Honour for two founding fathers of Buckinghamshire’s College Lake nature reserve came at a rededication and book signing event on Saturday.
George Goddard and Graham Atkins were among the team who transformed Pitstone’s former College Lake chalk quarry and cement works into the vibrant wildlife sanctuary that today is run by Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).
Thanks to support from Buckinghamshire County Councillor Avril Davies, the event also doubled as a launch for Graham’s documentary book - Creating a Nature Reserve: the story of College Lake - telling the story of its creation.
Mrs Davies, in whose division College Lake is situated, donated £1,000 from her community leader’s fund to enable the publication and sale of the book.
She said: “The creation of the nature reserve is a big part of our local history, and a tremendous contribution to conservation and our environment.
“The story of College Lake had to be told in Graham’s own words, and it will become an important archival work.
“Graham needed help in publishing the book, and by joining forces with the wildlife charity that hosted this fantastic launch event, there is something in this for everyone.’
With a small team of volunteers, Mr Atkins, a former Castle Cement employee and Cheddington resident, and Mr Goddard, former general manager of Castle Cement, worked over 25 years to create the right habitats and conditions for a haven for wildlife at College Lake.
During Saturday’s event, the centre’s Castle Hide was rededicated to George for his support and encouragement.
Tom Beeston, College Lake visitor centre manager, who hosted the event, said: “College Lake is an amazing example of how the council, local business and the community can work together to make a world class conservation project happen.”