Chew Valley Lake

Chew Valley Lake is a large reservoir in the Chew Valley, Somerset, England. It is the fifth-largest artificial lake in the United Kingdom with an area of 1,200 acres. It provides much of the drinking water for the city of Bristol and surrounding area. Some of the water from the lake is used to maintain the flow in the River Chew.

About Chew Valley Lake in brief

Summary Chew Valley LakeChew Valley Lake is a large reservoir in the Chew Valley, Somerset, England. It is the fifth-largest artificial lake in the United Kingdom with an area of 1,200 acres. It provides much of the drinking water for the city of Bristol and surrounding area. Some of the water from the lake is used to maintain the flow in the River Chew. The lake is an important site for wildlife and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area. It has indigenous and migrant water birds throughout the year, and two nature trails have been created. The deepest part is near the dam and the outlet tower, where the steeply sloping shores of Walley Bank and the north shore result in depths of up to 20 ft. Visitors are officially invited to use public transport, but overwhelmingly arrive by private car, encouraged by the provision of parking spaces. The nearest major road is the A368, which runs along the southern edge of the lake and provides access from Bath and Weston-super-Mare. A small amount of parking is available at the visitor centre and Woodford Lodge, which is also easily accessible from the M5 motorway at junctions 18 and 22, with a small amount available for a small charge. The closest major road to the lake is the B3114 on the western part of the Lake, which provides access to the villages of Chew Stoke, Chew Magna and Bishop Sutton. In 2002 a 1.9-mile safe cycle route, the CheW Lake West Green Route, was opened along the B2114.

The Grebe Trail is a hard-surfaced, all-weather path suitable for pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchairs and covers a circuit 0. 75 miles long, starting and finishing at the wooded picnic area. The Bittern Trail is reached by the footbridge over Hollow Brook, and is often waterlogged in winter, but there is a boardwalk over a short section. It forms part of the Padstow to Bristol West Country Way, National Cycle Network 3, funded by Bath and North Somerset Sustrans and East Somerset Council. It runs along the east shore, visits an open bird hide and returns to the footbridges, making a 1-mile circuit. It is approximately 10miles away from Bristol Airport and is easily accessible by car, with signs advising visitors to follow the signs to Bristol Airport. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956 and is a national centre for birdwatching, with over 260 species recorded. Some restricted use for recreational activities is permitted by the owner, Bristol Water, including dinghy sailing and fishing, primarily for trout. The water is fed by small rivers, and it flows into the river Chew for 17miles before it joins the Avon to head out to sea. Denny Island above the surface throughout theyear, is wooded and provides a habitat for wildlife, and has a souvenir shop and small art gallery and twonature trails.