Beckenham park's much-anticipated swimming lake was opened to the public today by Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Hundreds turned to enjoy the new attraction, which forms part of a £4.9 million project to regenerate the park, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The new 283-metre-long, 45-metre-wide lake, is a recreation of an original Georgian water feature, with a greatest depth of 3.5 metres.

A sloped beach lines the lake, creating shallow water for younger children to play in.

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Sadiq Khan cutting the ribbon (James O Jenkins/Greater London Authority)

There is a free section of the lake for shallow paddling, but full swimmers must pay £3 in cash or online.

The lake is expected to have lifeguards over the summer but will be open all year round, and water quality will be tested every week with the lake filled from a natural borehole.

The regeneration project also includes a new wet woodland, play areas, BMX track, skate park, public toilets, as well as a cafe, visitor hub and education centre in the Homestead.

Lewisham Council has also contributed nearly £2 million to the project.

The project has not been without controversy, with a row breaking out in 2016 over the removal of the park’s golf course – the last public golf course in London.

A petition to keep the golf course was signed 7000 times.

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