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UK Inland Diving
Dive Site: Buckland Lake
Description: Underground reservoir
Depth: 15 metres max (50 feet)
Visibility: 5 - 10 metres (15 - 30 feet)
This is a new site quite close to London just off the M2. It's run by Polaris Scuba. The lake is large and is mainly given over to a wildfowl reserve. The diving section is bouyed off with about fifteen metres maximum depth. The centre is well equipped, with a toilet, a couple of changing rooms and a decking area where they serve a range of hot drinks good quality food. They also have a portable compressor. The prices are very reasonable.
Parking can be difficult at this site and will probably get worse as the place gains in popularity. On site is room for about fifteen vehicles is a purpose built car park. Access to the kitting up area is via a narrow roadway. They provide trolleys so it's not much hassle. The organisation seems quite geared up on health and safety issues - they actually ask to see your qualifications. They give you a dive brief. They have a rescue boat and oxygen on site. I was reassured to hear the rescue services can be in attendance within twelve minutes.
Entry to the water is from a platform set in two metres of water or for a gentler entry there are large steel steps into a sheltered area. There are five 'shipwrecks' of varying dimensions plus a small airliner which has been stripped and opened up for a swimthrough and various other attractions in depths of ten metres or less. Once again there has been thought given to safety with a large scale map of the site next to the entry and notices at the various entry points warning of the dangers of wreck penetration. On the downside the day we went, in July, the visibilty was not too good and could be reduced to zero by a carelessfin stroke. Having said that it's no worse than other places and considerably better than some. Overall I thought this was a well presented, safety concious operation which has a
lot to offer for training and out of season diving.
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