‘Emergency action’ called for to help Portishead Lake Grounds

PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 July 2018

Portishead Lake Grounds. Picture: Gemma Spencer

Portishead Lake Grounds. Picture: Gemma Spencer

Archant

Portishead Lake Grounds is at risk of becoming a ‘stagnant, unhealthy swamp’ if it is not dredged, according to a campaigner.

Charles Murphy believes ‘emergency action’ should be taken to shift a layer of mud from the bottom of the lake.

Last year he pledged to collect donations and grants to raise £140,000 to use barges to dredge the lake.

Although Mr Murphy admits progress on the fundraising has been slow, he believes the increasing regularity the UK is experiencing spells of dry weather means work needs to be done.

MORE: Council urged to clear out lake mud

North Somerset Council, however, says the lake’s condition does not need to be remedied urgently.

Mr Murphy said: “My measurement showed there is only 230mm of water above the mud.

“I intend to repeat the measurement after about a week to get an indication of how long it will actually be before it is a muddy, stagnant, unhealthy swamp.

“I have not been able to do as much work as intended on the main fundraising due to other local work.

“However, that does not limit any emergency work because without water in the lake, my plan to use barge-mounted dredge pumps to pump the mud back to the estuary obviously could not work.

“However with the lake empty and dry, conventional excavators could be used with care.

“Droughts are going to occur more often and I suggest the council needs to fund emergency action to remove the mud.”

Mr Murphy also believes the mud is causing problems for people taking part in watersports on the lake as it can snag equipment and make capsizing more likely.

The poor appearance of the Lake Grounds has also been discussed by residents on social media.

Dozens of people have commented on Facebook, with one person describing the area as ‘disgusting’ while another suggested a petition should be launched.

However, North Somerset Council says the issue will be eased when the hot, dry weather passes.

A council spokesman said: “The hot weather we have had means water levels are low so the silt is visible in some places.

“This is not an issue which needs urgent attention – once water levels rise the silt won’t be seen.”

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