Clevedon Marine Lake reopens after 'awesome effort'

MARLENs Marine Lake

Volunteers helped clear the lake's bed once drained. - Credit: MARLENs

Clevedon Marine Lake has reopened thanks to the efforts of volunteers who helped remove tonnes of mud and silt from the lake's bed.

Repairs were made to the lake's walls after 30 million litres of water were released into the Bristol channel.

Volunteer, Tim Clouter, who headed the repairs programme, said: "My most challenging repair was a gaping crack in the wall below the main steps into the lake.

"I was struggling to persuade the cement to stay in the crack.”

More than 30million litres of water was emptied from the lake.

More than 30million litres of water was emptied from the lake. - Credit: MARLENs

Elsewhere, another set of steps were installed while existing handrails and the children's splash pool was mended.

Mr Clouter added: “We have to think up creative solutions to problems such as eels swimming up the feed pipe to the hand pump on the splash pool.

"I bought a cheap sample square of stainless-steel grid from eBay, cut a hole in an old chopping board and heated the grid to melt into the plastic to avoid sharp edges.

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“It was so rewarding seeing so many new and regular volunteers turn up and get stuck in."

The MARLENs charity maintains the lake, and its chairman, Rowan Clarke echoed Tim's sentiment on the level of support it has received in the past year.

MARLENs

Clevedon Marine Lake drained. - Credit: MARLENs

She said: “Drain downs show just how much people love the lake. As a year-round swimmer, I see how much everyone misses it when it is empty, but the good feeling from helping give a little back by clearing, cleaning and mending is phenomenal.

"People do not always appreciate how much work our volunteers do – and how skilled they are. It is hard to put into words just how much of an awesome team effort it is.”

Diggers were brought in to remove tonnes of mud from the bottom of the pontoon to allow for swimmers to jump from the area.

The MARLENS charity was set up in 2004 to maintain the town's flagship attraction and regularly drains the lake to remove the build-up of tonnes of silt and to search for lost property.

Usage of the lake has steadily increased since the Covid pandemic and earlier this year plans for a £90,000 project to build facilities for disabled visitors were unveiled.

The next scheduled drain down will take place in March 2022.

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