As reported in our February magazine, South Gloucestershire Council has agreed to allocate £250,000 from its Highways Maintenance programme to fund enhancement works to the Three Brooks Lake in Bradley Stoke.
Streams flowing from Patchway, Hortham, Little Stoke and Stoke Gifford all feed into the lake, which was constructed in 1993 to create an amenity pond for local residents. The lake was last desilted in 2005 and is now in need of desilting again.
During the summer of 2019, low water flow exposed large areas of silt, exposing wildfowl nesting on the islands to predators including foxes and cats. This winter the high rainfall experienced across the country has led to the lake flooding twice.
The timing of the desilting works is restricted to being carried out between November and February due to the protected wildlife which uses the wetland area, including water voles and otters. Between now and next autumn, the council will appoint a contractor and work with the Environment Agency to obtain a bespoke licence.
The plan will be to reduce the water level in the lake by opening up the penstock (sluice gate). At the same time, a professional fishery will catch all the fish, store them safely and then release the fish after the works have been completed. The lake will then be desilted by machine and the silt moved using dumper trucks to a spoil area (see map) which has recently been cleared in preparation for the main scheme starting in the autumn.
As part of this project and following requests, a 300-metre stretch of pathway along the northern edge of the lake will be surfaced, linking the northern end of Juniper Way with the reserve and making the lake more accessible to visitors.
With the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve becoming increasingly popular, the council says public safety will be a high priority. Updates will be provided in the form of on-site notices and through posts on the StreetCare Facebook page www.facebook.com/sglosstreetcare
This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 16 & 17). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Update: Lake desilting project delayed to winter 2021
Added 22nd December 2020.
South Gloucestershire Council has today announced that the desilting project has been delayed to winter 2021. A spokesperson said:
“Our project to desilt the lake at Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, Bradley Stoke has been delayed until November 2021.”
“The work was supposed to take place in this winter, but has been rescheduled for 2021 due to delays caused by the outbreak of Covid-19.”
“We have appointed a contractor to carry out the project and over the winter we will proceed with the minor works needed to prepare the site.”
“The desilting activity has to take place during the winter months to minimise the impact on protected species.”
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