SCARBOROUGH Mere Angling Club have been working hard to restore the beauty spot back to its former glory.
Once a popular tourist attraction, the Mere played host to rowing boats and holidaymakers who spent the afternoon on its putting green, but fell into disrepair over the years.
However, Andrew Maccallaugh from the Mere Angling Club has seen the lake transformed over the last 12 years.
He said: “We have spent more than £80,000 making the lake a lake again. If it wasn’t for the angling club the lake would be rancid.”
The Mere has seen a number of improvements in recent years such as the addition of disabled facilities and a £13,000 application to remove weeds from the water, and Mr Maccallaugh said he and other members of the angling club were frustrated that people still thought of the Mere as run-down and vandalised after the amount of work they have put in.
Mr Maccallaugh said: “The club put 700 man hours into the site last year and we’ve put in 460 so far this year.
“We’ve done so much work and I check all the accesses every day. We’ve installed toilets and the public are coming back to the Mere.”
Mr Maccallaugh spoke out after councillors backed a proposal to build a cafe and improved boating facilities in an effort to rejuvenate the “neglected” area.
It is understood the authority has already been approached by a Scarborough cafe operator which has expressed an interest in developing a new wooden chalet-style cafe at the Mere – the site covers 2,000 sq metres and is currently used as an informal car park by users of the Mere.
A boating jetty is situated next to the site and was previously used by the Hispaniola and rowing boats but has since fallen into disrepair and is currently considered unsafe for public access.
The scheme is part of a wider masterplan which aims to redevelop the Mere and Oliver’s Mount – which will go out to public consultation next year.
Councillors also voted to accept funding of £36,000 to develop a planning brief for the £3.6 million plan, which could include as many as 260 eco lodges, a community woodland, wildlife trails, a golf driving range, a mountain bike circuit, a dry ski slope and aerial adventure walkways.
An eight-week public consultation period is expected to begin in March with a council decision due by July.