Nature reserve tunnelling work due to start soon

Plan of the site compound near the Three Brooks lake.

Work to construct a tunnel to carry a new sewer pipe under the M4 motorway is due to begin in Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve on Monday 24th April.

The work, which is expected to last for approximately six months, will involve setting up a fenced site compound on the triangular area of grass near the bridge over Hortham Brook where it flows into the ‘duck pond’. A six-metre deep shaft will be constructed in this location, from where a tunnel will be bored to accommodate the new 1.8m-diameter sewer pipe.

The tunnel will form part of a new 5km-long link between Frampton Cotterell and Bradley Stoke, completing the final link in the Frome Valley Relief Sewer which was begun in the 1990s.

A temporary footpath will be in place and access will be maintained at all times.

Heavy construction plant and machinery will also have access to carry out the work. This will be achieved via a temporary access point on Bradley Stoke Way, close to the bridge over Stoke Brook.

A Wessex Water spokesperson said:

“While we carry out the work we will take care to protect the natural habitats and environment of the local wildlife. Once our work is complete we will return the local nature reserve to the condition we found it.”

“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this work may cause.”

Further information about the work can be found on the Wessex Water website at

Illustrative cross-section diagram of the tunnel.

Images: 1 Plan of the site compound near the Three Brooks lake. Illustrative cross-section showing the tunnel passing under Hortham Brook, ‘the Tump’ and the M4 motorway.

See also: Information board displayed around the site.

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 35). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

Postscript (23/04/17): Wessex Water has been granted planning permission to construct a temporary vehicle access point into the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve from Bradley Stoke Way.

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  1. The path between the lake and the motorway is always impossible to use for at least half of the year. There is a bridge, leading to Juniper Way, which suggests the path is meant to be used, but the mud is horrible in the wetter months. They are doing work here anyway. Is there any hope of this section getting paved?

  2. From (

    Bradley Stoke Way, Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire
    24 April — 05 May
    Delays likely Traffic control (two-way signals)
    Works location: 300m South Of Junct Savages Wood Road
    Works description: Wecs. Construction Of Temporary Access Road Off Bradley Stoke Way To Facilitate Construction Of New Sewer.
    Owner:Timothy Burt, Lewis
    Responsibility for works: Wessex Water
    Current status: Planned work about to start

  3. @Judith
    I wrote to the council regarding this when BSCS opened as it would have made the route too school closer when applying for a place for my daughter.
    I was told they wouldn’t pave this route as it is a conservation area and they could not use the gravel type material like othe pathways in the area as it would wash away due to frequent flooding.

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