Work has started on major improvement works to Jubilee Pond, one of Epping Forest's most popular destinations.
The City of London Corporation, which runs Epping Forest, held a breaking ground ceremony which saw Gordon Haines, chairman of the Epping Forest Committee, which sets Forest management policy, get digging with Dennis Stone, chairman of the volunteer group of the Lake House Lake Project and his eight-year-old grandson Cullen.
Haines said: "I want to pay tribute to the efforts of volunteers and say how proud I am that we are undertaking this work together. The work will vastly improve the visitor experience."
The pond, on Wanstead flats, attracts 400,000 visitors a year, but water loss has been identified on the site since it was converted from a concrete-lined model yacht pond to a conservation pond ten years ago.
Relining works are being undertaken in two stages by Kingcombe Aquacare, with each half of the lake being worked on in succession.
The water is being moved from one side of a temporary dam to the other so that pond habitat and aquatic life can remain on site.
Then Ground Control will undertake landscaping works to Chris Blandford Associates designs.
Acquatic plans will be planted and surrounded by protective fencing. New accessible pathways, new benches, pond dipping decks and play area are also part of the plans.
Community groups have been closely involved in the scheme, voting last year for £170,000 of Metropolitan Police compensation to be spent on the relining. The money was given for use of Wanstead Flats for the Olympic police muster station.
A further £275,000 was donated by the City of London Corporation, the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Epping Forest’s volunteer force will also help with landscaping tasks like planting, and constructing the pond dipping platform.
Work is scheduled to finish by August.