Published date 18 May 2022

New £1.6m Chew Valley Trail opens ahead of summer

 Cllr Sarah Warren, Dan Norris, Bill and Pam Blyth and Richard Price with children on bikes at the new Chew Valley Trail

A new 2.7km all-weather path allowing more people to take in the beautiful sights of Chew Valley Lake has now officially opened.

The £1.6m walking and cycling path on the northern section of the lake will make the Chew Valley Trail accessible for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy.

The project includes a new 840m off-road pedestrian and cycle shared use path running between Woodford Lodge and Walley Court Road. The path continues across the dam on a shared use walking and cycling route and then continues towards Bishop Sutton.

The project was funded by £1.1m from the West of England Combined Authority, a £507,000 grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and contributions from Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bristol Water, who own the reservoir.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Nothing beats taking in the gorgeous views of Chew Valley Lake and the stunning countryside and wildlife surrounding it. There’s a reason it has long been a firm favourite for generations of local people. I’m so proud that a million-pound cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority I lead has helped fund this brand-new walking and cycling trail which I know so many people in our region are looking forward to using. I have no doubt this will ensure Chew Valley Lake remains a go-to spot in the West of England to roam and enjoy.”

The path was officially opened by Metro Mayor Dan Norris Bath & North East Somerset Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate & Sustainable Travel, Councillor Sarah Warren, Bristol Water Chief Operating Officer Richard Price, and resident Bill Blyth who led a campaign to get a walking and cycling trail.

Bill Blyth said: “It is great to see the children at the opening event. It is important that they can use the Chew Valley Recreational Trail away from the road where they don’t have to worry about the traffic.”

Councillor Sarah Warren said: “This fantastic trail has been many years in the making and I’m delighted to see it open ahead of the summer for people to enjoy on foot or by bike. The new paths will mean many more people will be able to take in the stunning beauty of the Chew Valley Lake for generations to come. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the project a reality.”

Mel Karam, Bristol Water CEO said: “Bristol Water is looking forward to welcoming more people to enjoy the beautiful Chew Valley Lake, thanks to the 2.7km trail that winds around the lake's northern section. The trail has the bonus of being near two places where you can stop off and refuel - The Woodford at Woodford Lodge and Salt and Malt at picnic area one. In addition to the trail, Bristol Water has also planted 40 trees and 454 metres of hedgerows were planted as part of the scheme to help house wildlife and provide a natural environment for visitors.”

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