Posts Tagged ‘Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve’

Council finds £250k to pay for lake desilting

Posted on Wednesday 19th February 2020 at 9:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllrs John Ashe (left) and Roger Avenin at the lake.

Councillors in Bradley Stoke have welcomed South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) allocation of £250,000 to an environmental project that will see the lake in the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve desilted for the first time in 15 years.

The lake, which regularly floods due to its current condition, is in acute need of desilting and has been the subject of public concern about the impact on wildlife and potential loss of amenity.

Following campaigning by the local councillors for the Bradley Stoke South ward, Cllrs John Ashe and Roger Avenin, to see residents’ concerns addressed, SGC’s Cabinet has approved a reallocation of funds from its Highways Maintenance budget.

The money originates from an unspent portion of A4174 Challenge Fund – originally made available to speed up work on the recent Bromley Heath Viaduct repair project.

The scheme, which requires the removal of up to 4,000 cubic metres of silt and restoring the lake environment to the original landscape plans, including a 300m ‘stone to dust’ footpath, will enhance the wetland area for the community, improve resistance to flooding and enhance local biodiversity.

Cllr John Ashe commented:

“Areas like the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve should be enjoyed all year round, and you are hard pressed to go there in the daytime and not see the likes of dog walkers and joggers or young families going to feed the ducks, along with groups of school children getting to know and appreciate nature. So when it ends up flooding after some rain, it might not pose a threat to nearby homes, but it can definitely have a profound effect on the community of people that make use of it, as well as washing away the nesting areas of the local wildlife.”

“In recent months, so many residents have been in touch with myself and my council colleague Cllr Roger Avenin about the state of the lake and how, while they enjoy it during the summer months, they are put off using it in between late autumn and early spring due to the increased chance of flooding. Many also raising their concerns that, if gone unchecked, the damage to the area could get even worse.”

“Having taken those views to the council, and argued the case for local residents, I am really pleased that funding will be put into this environmental project.”

More: Work likely to be carried out next winter »

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Flooding brings renewed calls for lake dredging

Posted on Sunday 17th November 2019 at 6:15 pm by SH (Editor)

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.

More: SGC "still exploring the options for funding the work" »

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Three Brooks nature reserve receives £25,000 grant for accessibility improvements

Posted on Thursday 30th May 2019 at 11:26 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of volunteers from the conservation group planning and marking the route of the new woodland paths.

A project to improve access to the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke has been given a boost, thanks to a grant of £25,000 from Enovert Community Trust.

Three Brooks is a popular nature reserve covering 60 hectares of tranquil woodland and meadows and lies at the heart of the town of Bradley Stoke. Some of the woodland dates back over 400 years, with a rich mix of habitats that provide valuable food and shelter to a wide range of wildlife, including great crested newts and slow worms.

The project will see more than 500m of woodland paths upgraded at the northern end of the reserve in Savages Wood, to improve accessibility. An environmentally friendly, no-dig cell web system will be used for the paths to protect surrounding tree roots.

Robin Jones, chair of The Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group which is delivering the project, said:

“In recent years the popularity of the site has been causing issues, especially in winter when the main unsurfaced paths have become water logged and unusable.”

“The project to resurface the woodland footpath network will greatly improve accessibility for visitors, while helping to protect ground flora and tree roots from trampling. We hope the upgraded paths will enable more people to use the area, which will lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural environment.”

More: Reserve provides vital access to the natural environment »

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Art group gives ‘God of the Three Brooks’ a face

Posted on Saturday 30th March 2019 at 9:42 pm by SH (Editor)

Landscape (watercolour) by Sue Kelly. Trolletheus, God of Three Brooks (acrylic), by Susan Hartry.

A chance encounter between Susan Hartry of the Stokes Art Group (SAG) and Sara Messenger of the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group (TBNCG) last spring sparked an idea for an art project. Sara explained that just as the River Severn has Sabrina Goddess of the River, the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve has a God called Trolletheus – named after two rusted and battered supermarket trolleys she and the TBNCG Team had dredged from the lake some time earlier. Susan picked up on this and suggested giving Trolletheus a face as a SAG project competition later in the year. Sara liked the idea and even agreed to judge it with adoption papers at the ready!

Both passionate about their respective groups, they soon realised they greatly complimented each other. After all, conservationists maintain our landscape and for centuries artists have enjoyed painting it!

The competition brief was split into two categories – one to create an image for Trolletheus and the second to create a landscape from any scene or feature from the reserve. The resulting unsigned collection was displayed at the Stokes Art Group end of year awards event, where Sara and fellow conservationist Ceri selected their favourite artwork from each category. Sara was thrilled that finally Trolletheus had a ‘face’ – though the look of surprise on her own face when she announced the artist was Susan Hartry was also worthy of a prize! Inspired by features of the reserve itself Susan’s Trolletheus, armoured with two supermarket trolleys, is based on the Turkey Oaks of Sherbourne’s Brake.

The winning landscape by Stokes Artist Sue Kelly, taken from her own photograph, represents a typical Three Brooks woodland scene familiar to those who go off the beaten track and enjoy the diverse variety of trees, plants, wildflowers and undergrowth found right on our doorstep.

The full collection can be viewed on the 2018 Project page of the SAG website.

More: How to book a free taster session with SAG »

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