Work on a £1.5m scheme to build a new section of 2.7km walking and cycling trail around Chew Valley Lake kicks off on Monday 23 August.
The Chew Valley has international designation status and is a Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest, which attracts many visitors each year.
Construction of the all-weather path on the northern section of the lake will enable the extension of the existing walking and cycling trail around the lake and create a safe accessible route for all users.
The project was given the go ahead earlier this year after £507,000 was awarded by the Rural Payments Agency and a £1m investment from the West of England Combined Authority was added to contributions from Bath and North East Somerset Council and Bristol Water, who own the reservoir.
Dan Norris, West of England Mayor, said: “I love walking round the Chew Valley Lake and taking in the stunning countryside around it. It has long been a favourite location for generations of people from across the West of England. Creating a new walking and cycling trail will help ensure its popularity continues to grow in the years ahead. Many thousands of people will look forward to using this brand new route, which is being funded with the help of £1m from the West of England Combined Authority that I’m proud to lead.”
The work being delivered includes:
- The construction of new 840m off-road shared use path between Woodford Lodge and Walley Lane.
- The realignment of the road over the dam to widen the existing footway and provide a segregated cycle/pedestrian path.
- The construction of a shared use path between the dam to the north and Hollowbrook Road including replacement of an existing narrow footbridge (total length 1.5km).
Councillor Manda Rigby, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for Transport, said: “Bath and North East Somerset Council has been working to get more access for people to this wonderful green space for many years. With the assistance of our partners at the West of England Combined Authority and Bristol Water we are pleased to be breaking ground on this crucial section which will finally deliver an accessible route suitable for everyone.”
Mel Karam, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Water, said: “Chew Valley Lake is a very beautiful and special place for so many people. We have always wanted Bristol Water lakes to be there for everyone to enjoy and the fact that thousands of lakeside visitors will now be able to enjoy the lakeside like never before is very exciting. Alongside Bath and North East Somerset Council we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make this new trail possible; from carrying out wildlife surveys and assessments to even buying extra land to make this possible for the benefit of everyone, while still protecting our precious wildlife.”