I’m very lucky to live near to Bushy Park in Terenure, Dublin. It’s a great park with loads of amenities, and is also a park full of interesting places to explore.
One of the parts of the park I love the most is the area alongside the River Dodder between Terenure and Rathfarnham. In this area there are a series of man-made ponds, situated just the other side of the park wall from the river.
I’m fascinated by these water features and how they were built, and often go snooping around in the bushes to understand their construction and to work out how the water flows from one pond to another.
Bushy Park Lake
The Bushy Park Lake is hidden at its start amongst the trees and bushes. It’s not readily visible from the footpath, and you have to go exploring in the trees to get a glimpse of it.
It’s not until you get to the first of the two walls that subdivide the lake that you get a good view from the footpath.
Depending on how you wish to count it there is either one lake or three here, as the body of water is separated into three parts by walls with small waterfalls built in that control the flow of water from each part to the next.
There are also two bridges allowing people to cross the lake at these waterfalls.
The water for the lake is fed from an underground supply at its most eastern point, and then flows downhill over the two waterfalls in the same direction as the River Dodder from east to west.
Here’s a photo of the stream that feeds into the pond. I’m curious to know where this water supply comes from, as it’s much higher up than the nearby River Dodder by a few metres difference. So perhaps it flows here underground from somewhere else, such as the lake in Terenure College.
As we move easterly through the park the trees and bushes thin out somewhat, and the footpath follows along the sides of the lake. As you can see from the photo below its common for algae to form on the surface at the east end of the lake.
At the very far end there is an semi-submerged structure that looks like a water outlet.
To the north and east of Bushy Park Lake is the better-known and more frequently visited Duck Pond. It’s a lot more ornamental, with a nice flat tarmac path and benches to sit and admire the view around its circumference. There’s also a small island in the middle. The pond attracts a fair amount of birds, including ducks and swans.
Water is fed into the Duck Pond from a small waterfall at the west end just near to the bandstand. I suspect this water comes underground from the lake outlet.
At the east end of the Duck Pond is the water outlet, which feeds the excess water under the wall and into the adjacent River Dodder.