North Somerset Council has pledged to invest £300,000 to bring the lake back into use as a community hub for watersports. The council is awaiting a licence from the government’s Marine Management Organisation, which will permit the removal of built-up silt from the lake.
In the meantime, the council is trialling various methods of silt agitation to encourage large amounts of silt to be flushed out with the tide. In recent weeks, an excavating digger has worked alongside the causeway to churn up compacted silt, resulting in a reduction of an estimated 1,800 tonnes, approximately 5% of the total silt volume.
In the coming weeks, while the lake remains closed to the public, a digger will continue to agitate the silt around the northern edge of the lake, alongside the concrete walkway below the RNLI building.
This Thursday (20 May) afternoon, Selwood Pumping will be at Marine Lake to trial the use of a high-pressure hose and pumping system, to disturb the silt which has built-up in the middle of the lake.
Cllr Mike Solomon, executive member for neighbourhood and community services, said: “I am pleased with the progress made at Marine Lake so far.
“The excavating digger has been very effective and I’m pleased Selwood Pumping are lending their expertise to the project as well.
“The more silt we can encourage to leave the lake naturally while we wait for our licence, the less silt removal we’ll need to pay for this autumn.”
The walkways around the lake, including the causeway, remain closed to the public to protect their safety during the works, although access for the RNLI will be maintained at all times.
North Somerset Council is working closely with newly-established Community Interest Company Weston Marine Lake Mudlarks on the possible long-term maintenance and finance arrangements for the restored lake. To get involved with Weston Mudlarks go to westonmarinelake.co.uk.
North Somerset Council’s investment in Weston’s Marine Lake is part of a £700,000 Great Lakes project which will involve work to revitalise Clevedon and Portishead's coastal lakes too.
The plans for Marine Lake are also included within the adopted placemaking strategy for Weston town centre, which includes a set of themes and ambitions for the town around wellbeing, recreation, being green, low carbon, a great place to live work and study and helping the local economy adjust to the fundamental changes accelerated by coronavirus.