Edwardes Lake - Reservoir

Thomas Dyer Edwardes, an Englishman, gave a gift of 34 acres of the Leamington Estate to the people of Preston in 1914 to be used as a park. Once the land was given to the Council, they started planting trees and talked about constructing a dam and a weir. 

On Saturday 2nd of September 1916, there was a tree-planting ceremony. At the ceremony was the president of the shire Cr.  Charles Henry Warr and members of the Tramway League, the president (Mr. Pearl) and vice-president (Mr. M. Hannah, M.L.A.). The Governor-General was expected but could not make it on the day. Mr. Hannah envisaged the park being a destination for the people of the northern suburbs with the construction of an extension to the tramway up to the park. The tramway extension did not happen but the park made great headway with the establishment of 600 trees. 

The State War Council approached the Council about employment for returned soldiers and sailors, and they were employed to build the weir and retaining wall to form the Lake. The official ceremony was held in 1920.

There is substantial flora and fauna around the Lake. 38 plant species to be planted were listed in 1933. Currently (2002) there are 48 species, including a variety of gum trees and wattle trees. Several species of water birds enjoy the facilities, especially black swans, ducks, cormorants, moorhens and swamphens. Night herons, galahs, lorikeets and pelicans also visit frequently. Frogs can often be heard but are rarely seen.

In 1971, Preston Council drained the Lake to remove oil, sludge, dead fish and other rubbish polluting it.

There has been a lot of work since 2002 to upgrade the Lake and surrounds with a grant from the State Government. This includes draining the lake, repairing the weir, improving the water flow, installing litter traps and landscaping.

'Edwardes Lake - a gift well received.' (2002) Epping: Workplacement

Edwardes Park and Lake Preston: Tree planting ceremony (1916, September 9). The Preston Leader, p. 2

Edwardes Park Lake (1920, April 10). The Northcote Leader, p. 3

Preston Post June 30th 1971.