Restoration of Boeung Chhouk
The defining feature of the Song Saa Reserve is the large lake that dissects the property, adding natural character to the reserve that is unrivalled in the province. Known locally as Boeung Chhouk (‘Lake of Lotus’) the water-body’s origins date back to Angkorian times, when the architects of the Banteay Srei temple dammed a collection of springs and streams. A thousand years on and the lake remains a blue imprint on the Banteay Srei landscape and a home to numerous unique and endangered birds and animals.
With the onset of new developments in the Banteay Srei district, together with generations of natural infilling, the time is right for the creation of a strategy that secures the long-term wellbeing of Boeung Chhouk.
Accordingly our partner, the Song Saa Foundation, in collaboration with the district governor and the Dewy International University are undertaking a community-based planning process that will secure the future of the lake through a programme of protection and restoration. This will see the water body return to its original natural character, with the rehabilitation of wetlands and the general lake, ensuring that the area becomes a regional centre for indigenous wildlife, including, we hope, the kingdom’s ‘bird of heaven’, the Sarus crane.