John Craven officially opened Anchor’s flagship Hampshire Lakes retirement village in Yateley yesterday (Tuesday 14 June). 

The veteran journalist and television presenter became a household name during the 17 years he spent hosting Newsround, the first television news programme in the world to report directly to children. He now enjoys an equally high profile role as presenter of the long-running show Countryfile, which he joined in 1989. His knowledge of the rural environment was particularly fitting as he enjoyed a tour of Hampshire Lakes retirement village, set in the stunning woodland and lakes which characterise the grounds. He also viewed the luxurious homes and village facilities, which include a bistro, gym, spa, swimming pool, salon, library, café, shop and landscaped gardens. 

Mayor of Yateley, John Craven, Jane Ashcroft

He then joined the Mayor of Yateley, Gerry Crisp, Hampshire Lakes General Manager, Rhona Smith, Anchor Chief Executive, Jane Ashcroft CBE, and over 150 guests from the village and the local community in raising a glass to Hampshire Lakes and unveiling a 

Speaking at the event, John said: “From meeting the Anchor team today and taking a tour of Hampshire Lakes retirement village in its stunning setting, its seems that residents have everything they need for a comfortable and happy retirement. They can become as involved as they want in the communal life, in the safe knowledge that the village has been designed with their needs and interests at heart."plaque to declare the village officially open.

Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive of Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care to older people, said: “We are delighted to be opening this luxurious retirement development in Hampshire and we look forward to becoming part of the local community. This is the second village of this calibre that we have officially opened this year, showing our commitment to providing older people with a choice of great places to live in some of the UK’s most sought after locations.”

Nalin, Jane, John, Mayor

Rhona Smith, General Manager at Hampshire Lakes, added: “We are all excited to celebrate our grand opening today. I look forward to welcoming visitors and residents alike to our beautiful village.” Hampshire Lakes offers more than 100 independent and assisted living apartments for over-65s, with a wealth of on-site facilities and a 24 hour support team so that residents can enjoy retirement surrounded by like-minded people with the peace of mind that help is always available if required. There is also a 36-bed care home on the site, offering both residential care and specialist dementia support.  

The development is part of Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care to older people. A reserve list for Hampshire Lakes retirement village Phase 2 is now open. Apartment plans and prices are to be released in Winter 2016.

For more information on Hampshire Lakes, please call 0800 731 2020 or visit

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