Flooding brings renewed calls for lake dredging

Photo of flooding at the Three Brooks Lake on Friday 11th October 2019.

Another episode of flooding in Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, on the morning of Friday 11th October, saw paths covered in several feet of water, making them impassable for children walking to school and commuters using the Concorde Way cycling route.

The incident has brought renewed calls for South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) to expedite dredging of the Three Brooks Lake (a.k.a The Duck Pond) to remove the high levels of silt that have accumulated since the task was last carried
out in 2005.

In a response reported in our November 2018 magazine, SGC said it was “still in the investigation stage of the [de-silting] project” and was “awaiting an estimate and method statement” from its selected contractor. It added that it was “still in the process of identifying and securing funding”.

The current town mayor Tom Aditya identified the issue as a priority when he took office in May and the town council subsequently wrote to SGC asking it to “investigate the desilting of the lake at the as a matter of urgency”.

The town council’s letter added: “It has been observed that one day the lake can be flooded and then a couple of days later there is significant amounts of mud exposed with the water levels very low. This would indicate that the lake is not doing what it was designed for i.e. an attenuation pond. The flooding, in turn, causes damage to the paths surrounding the lake.”

However, a response received from SGC’s chief executive officer insists that “the lake is not an attenuation pond, it is an amenity lake”, referring to details in the consent granted by the National Rivers Authority in 1993 ahead of the creation of the water feature.

The response goes on itemise progress being made on the project, including:

  • The commissioning of an ecological method statement
  • The commissioning of aerial images of the site pre works
  • The working up of estimates of silt to finalise cost estimates

In response to an enquiry from the Journal, an SGC spokesperson said:

“We have now assessed the quantity of silt that will need to be removed and have carried-out a Reasonable Avoidance Measures for protected species (RAMs) report for the site. The guidance recommends that the work takes place between November and February to minimise any impact on protected species such as Otters, Water Voles and nesting birds. We are still exploring the options for funding the work and will keep the town council fully informed as the project progresses.”

Photo showing banks of silt exposed by low water at the Three Brooks Lake in September 2019.

Photos: 1 The bridge at the Three Books Lake almost fully submerged during a flooding event on 11th October. 2 Mud banks exposed at the lake less than a month earlier.

More photos of the October 2019 flooding on Facebook

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 16 & 17). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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