The Lake was created in 1856 in an area being excavated to provide gravel for terracing the new Temperate House. Underground channels were created to connect the Lake with the Thames, and it was filled for the first time in 1861. The Lake is five acres of water, studded with four islands.
The four islands are planted to provide vibrant colours in autumn, emphasised by their reflection in the lake. Chinese tupelo trees (Nyssa sinensis) turn deep red, while black tupelo trees (Nyssa sylvatica) turn red, orange and yellow.
The lake and its surrounds are inhabited by wildlife such as the red-crested pochard, tufted duck, widgeon and mandarin duck.
The Sackler Crossing, installed in 2006, gives easy access to some of Kew’s less visited areas.
The black granite walkway carries visitors low over the water along a curving path that mimics the lake’s rounded banks. Its walls are a series of vertical, flat bronze posts. On approaching the bridge, these give the appearance of forming a solid wall but when viewed sideways on they appear almost invisible.