In October 2013 I published a highly critical blog post about Bristol Water’s (BW) attitude towards constructing a shared path round the perimeter of Chew Valley Lake, available to people on foot and on bikes.
I had been taken on a tour of the lake by Bill Blyth, the chair of the Chew Valley Recreational Trail Association (CVRTA). Bill showed me how it would be possible to build a path around the lake. The resulting blog post was picked up by BW’s Publicity Department and a meeting followed between BW, Bill and myself at Woodford Lodge.
We found the people we met, quite new to BW’s staff, to be positive about getting better access to a path around the lake, but communication fizzled out after a while without any further progress.
However, just this week Bill rang me to say that there has been a partnership set up between Bristol Water, B&NES Council, MendipHills AONB, West of England Rural Network and Sustrans to deliver a Recreational Trail. A planning application is at present out for consultation. The Project went to the Chew Valley Area Forum in May and an application for funding will be made to the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund in September.
I have no doubt that Margaret Wilson, Bill Blyth and various committee members of CVRTA who kept the idea of the Recreational Trail alive since Margaret thought of it in 1999 are very pleased.
It now seems that Bristol Water’s management is sufficiently supportive for this trail to be put in place.
The trail will be a great attraction to many people and Bristol Water should be commended on its changed attitude to making a lake path available to the public.
There is a community consultation drop in on the plan at the Children’s Centre, Chew Valley School from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 28th June 2018.
To take part in a survey go to : https://sustrans.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/chew-valley-lake-recreational-trail-survey
The results of the survey will go into the Planning Consultation.