Aldenham Sailing Club (ASC) is leaving a reservoir where it has been based for 83 years after the owners lowered the water level.
ASC is leaving the reservoir after the water level was reduced by a metre, creating mudflats and making it too dangerous to launch boats. The club had been based there since 1937.
The owners said the metre reduction followed an inspection of the dam wall in January.
It came after Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) told the owners Liberty Lake Leisure that its plans for 50 holiday pods on the eastern bank of the reservoir would be unlikely to be approved because the land is on Green Belt.
On its website the club wrote: “It is with great sadness that Aldenham Sailing Club has to announce that it is terminating its lease with the owners of Aldenham reservoir and that it will no longer be sailing there.
“It is another sad development in the current history of the reservoir. No more will boats and sails be seen on what was once the jewel in the crown of Hertsmere which is left to an uncertain future with a diminished water level, increased mudflats, a rough-looking beach along the dam and now a fence which will affect the popular footpath round the lake.
“Haberdashers’ and Aldenham schools, which also sailed on the water, and disabled and veteran sailing club members who use special boats will have to seek sailing elsewhere.”
The club has not been sailing since January when the reservoir owners, Liberty Lake Leisure Limited, dropped the water level by one metre, arguing that they needed to ease pressure on the dam following an engineer’s report.
The club commodore, Bryan Forbes, said: “I am sad about the whole situation. I did not want it as my legacy to be the last commodore. But when Mahesh Gosrani, one of the two owners, stated in the press that the drop in water level of one metre would stay and might even be further reduced, we had no choice. Launching and recovery became too risky and even if we had adapted the structures, we had no confidence that one day the water would not drop further and so we began to look elsewhere.”
The club has agreed licenses with Liberty Lake Leisure to enable it to access the sailing compound to remove boats and equipment. The site has to be cleared by December 24 so local people will see activity on and around the compound for some time but sadly, no further sailing.
Members will now be seeking other clubs where they can carry on their sailing.