Town council wades in on Portishead Lake Grounds debate

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 September 2018

Portishead Lake Grounds. Picture: Gemma Spencer

Portishead Lake Grounds. Picture: Gemma Spencer

Gemma Spencer

The condition of Portishead Lake Grounds has been criticised by the town council, but it is estimated it will cost more than £150,000 to clear the site.

The lack of water in the lake has been heavily commented on through social media during the summer.

At a Portishead Town Council recreation and works committee meeting last week, Cllr Sue Mason said she was ‘shocked’ at how visible the silt at the bottom of the lake is despite recent rainfall.

She added: “I went down to the Lake Grounds to have a look at the lake, expecting the recent rain we have had during August would have covered the mud – it had not.

“I was quite shocked because where I expected it to have mud, near the café, was covered by water but the rest was very muddy and the ducks were actually walking on top of the mud because there was no water for them to swim in.

“I am sure the main body of the lake is not that much better. It is deeper but I am sure there is still a lot of mud which really needs clearing for the health of the lake and also the fish that are in it.”

Edward Mckay, an officer at North Somerset Council’s parks and open spaces department, says the lake has not been dredged properly in the past century and that the spring – which runs from Kilkenny Fields – has not been able to cope with the hot, dry summer.

He added the authority is unable to afford the ‘substantial’ cost of dredging but expects the lake to be refilled by December once an extended period of rainfall occurs.

He said: “We have had a prolonged period of drought.

“We are at the end of that but a couple of days of rain is not going to fill the lake up overnight.

“There is nothing we can do about the water levels until we get into the winter period and we get the weather which we expect over that period of time so we are talking about weeks on end of rain, not just a few days here and there.

“You are looking at upwards of £150,000 to dredge the lake and that is simply money which we do not have to spend.

“The main issue we have had is we have had a summer which we have not seen since 1976 so we can’t do much about the rain and in regards to the silt, if it is to be done properly then you are talking about substantial amount of money which is beyond our budget.”

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