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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 06:33 GMT
Victorian lake to give up secrets
The truth behind tales of a giant pike lurking in the depths of a Teesside lake could be uncovered soon.

A refurbishment of Stockton's Ropner Park is taking place and the draining of the lake is the latest stage.

Myths of a giant pike have long been known and what lies beneath the water could be uncovered in the first major clearing of the lake for 50 years.

An exhibition to show any interesting items discovered in the lake is also planned by Stockton Council.

New pavilion

The Environment Agency will relocate the fish and the silt will then be removed, dried out and used to improve the condition of the shrubbery beds in the park.

Park ranger Tony Raine said: "The lake area has already been transformed with the removal of diseased trees and overgrown vegetation.

"We have re-instated the original Victorian-designed views across the lake, and the major cleaning and improvement to the water quality will only add to the appeal of the park to visitors."

Heritage Lottery funding worth 2.5m is being used to help transform the park back to its Victorian glory. Other work includes a new pavilion and the restoration of the fountain.

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