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Three Brooks Lake Desilting Works

Path opening: 14th April 2022

The new three-metre wide path around the North Side of the lake, connecting Juniper Way to the picnic area, will be opening later today for the Easter weekend. This will give families with prams and wheelchair users the chance to enjoy seeing this part of the well-loved open space. Work will then resume to complete the project on Tuesday 19th April, but the path around the lake will remain open.

Path construction works: 3rd March 2022

South Gloucestershire Council's StreetCare has employed a specialist contractor, ETM, to construct a new 3m wide, stone surfaced path around the north side of the lake, linking up the two stone bridges. This will make the lake more accessible for people to enjoy.

Please download the following documents for further information:


The Three Brooks Nature Reserve lake desilting project has now been completed. The presentation below serves as an historic record of the project.

Download the PowerPoint Presentation

Video courtesy of Rich McD Photography

Photo of the desilting works taking place
Photo of the desilting works taking place

Open Day: 26th November 2021

An opportunity to take a closer look at the desilting project from the site compound and see the machinery being used to extract the silt.

Come and discover how South Gloucestershire Council and contractors, Land and Water Services Ltd are working to enhance the lake, which is heavily silted up. Visitors will be allowed access into the site compound and see the machinery being used to deliver the project. There's an opportunity to meet the project team and learn more about future plans for the site.

Please reserve an entry ticket by booking a place here

This is a drop in event, where you may arrive between 1pm and 2.45pm to learn more about the project by meeting members of the team.

Due to Covid and H&S restrictions we are unable to allow access in the vehicles and having to restrict numbers in the compound.

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Public Access update: 9th November 2021

The main path between the lake and Community Orchard is now closed ready for the desilting to take place, but it will be accessible at weekends. Way markers are in place on the reserve to keep people informed. The track may be muddy in places so please take care. South Gloucestershire StreetCare apologies for any inconvenience caused while these closures are in place.

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Update re desilting of Three Brooks lake: 1st November 2021

I am writing to update you on the desilting project at the Three Brooks Lake, which is scheduled to start on 1 November 2021.

Our contractor Land and Water Services Ltd has begun setting up the site today. From Monday 1 November they will be establishing the compound area, erecting all safety fencing and getting plant on site. An ecological pre commencement survey will be carried out this morning by an experienced ecologist, who has given the contractors the green light to start works.

The high levels of rain water over the weekend, which has resulted in the lake flooding, has required the contractors to amend the method of desilting, bringing in additional equipment to enable desilting to continue should high levels of water remain on site.

Residents living in Juniper Way should have received a letter informing them of the works and of the path diversion which is being put in place. A map showing the path diversion has been included in the correspondence.

The diversion notices will be erected at the beginning of the week, to help users navigate around the reserve.

The best way to keep in touch with project developments is through the Council’s social media pages by searching @sgloscouncil and @sglosstreetcare on Facebook.

This week, ahead of the desilting works, volunteers from the Three Brooks Conservation Group and Green Gym, have helped staff at the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART), deliver our first natural flood management project within the reserve. The project is focused on enhancing the straight river courses within the reserve by creating nine berms to slow the flow of water into Three Brooks Lake. The volunteers were out in the river this week tying down the natural chestnut wood poles, which are backfilled with brushwood, to provide a valuable habitat for fish and invertebrates. The river meanders around the berms, or over them in flood water and slows the water, causing silt to drop before it reaches the lake. The slow the flow work has been funded by Environment Agency, People's Postcode Lottery & Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership. Working in partnership with BART and the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group the Council aims to deliver more of these projects next year, which should prolong the period before the next desilting operation is required.

I look forward to providing further updates as the project develops.

Warmest regards
John Morris | Partnerships and Delivery Officer | Community Spaces Improvements Team | Streetcare | South Gloucestershire Council

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Update re desilting of Three Brooks lake: 22nd October 2021

SGC Streetcare update

Map showing path closure and diversion

Here is a map explaining public access around Three Brooks Lake while the desilting work takes place which will be posted at points around the reserve. We are still awaiting news of the permits from the Environment Agency but the work should still start on November 1 and be completed before Christmas.

Some routes will have to be restricted to keep everyone safe during the desilting operation and our officers and staff held a meeting with interested parties recently to plan the diversion route, which has now been finalised with our Highways team. When the work starts there will be numerous waymarkers in place so people can continue to enjoy the reserve.

We will give you further updates when we have them.

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Temporary Closure - Three Brooks Footpath & Cyclepath Network: 20th October 2021


Notice is hereby given that the South Gloucestershire Council in pursuance of the provisions contained within the above Act will for a period of up to 21 Days commencing on 1st November 2021 prohibit *ANY Pedestrians & Cyclists proceeding along footpath and cyclepath network in Three Brooks Nature reserve, Bradley Stoke from its junction with Juniper Way for 1190m North.

The above restriction is necessary because Desilting Works are being executed on or near the carriageway consequent upon which is the need to avoid danger to road users, and the operatives engaged upon the works and serious damage to the road.


Diversion route follows footpath and cycleway network

Please click the following links to download the notice and closure/diversion map:

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Update re desilting of Three Brooks lake: 1st October 2021

SGC Streetcare update

We have appointed an experienced contractor to carry out the desilting work in early November, and they are currently in the process of securing permits with the Environment Agency.

We plan to reuse the removed silt on site to profile some of the edges of the islands and lake, and to enhance existing habitats. This reduces the cost of the work as well as ensuring a sustainable option for the removed silt i.e. no transportation off site is required.

Around a third of the silt will be removed from the lake, which is the maximum that can be reused on site under current regulations.

It is likely the lake will need to be desilted again in around 10 years and we are working with the Environment Agency to explore natural flood management to slow the flow of water into the catchment area and reduce the amount of silt entering the lake system.

A new 300m long and 3m wide path will also be created to establish an accessible pathway for visitors to get closer to the lake and its nature.

In addition, BART (Bristol Avon Rivers Trust) are carrying out natural flood management works in October in the Stoke Brook with the aim to slow the flow of the brook, which will result in the reducing the amount of silt entering the pond. This will help prolong the period before the lake will require desilting again.

Plan of Three Brooks Lake

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Briefing note: 10th February 2021

As part of the proposed desilting works at the Three Brooks Lake, a number of willows will be pollarded or coppiced. This traditional form of management prolongs the life of these wetland trees, reducing the shade cast by the tree on the water and encourages younger growth. The works are taking place to enable plant machinery to gain access to all areas of the lake. Some additional works are taking place to widen the pathway around the north bank of the lake. All works are taking place ahead of the bird nesting season. The tree works are scheduled to take place on 24 and 25 February. Please keep dogs on a lead around the lake during this time and follow any instructions given out by our contractors.

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Briefing note: 17th December 2020


Work to desilt the lake in Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve was due to take place between November 2020 and February 2021. The work is needed to improve the aquatic habitat in the nature reserve which will enhance biodiversity in this important wildlife corridor as well as improving the experience for visitors.

The desilting work must take place in the winter to minimise the impact on the protected species that reside on the nature reserve.

Current position

We have completed a successful tendering process and have appointed an experienced contractor to carry out the work.

Site visits with the Environment Agency have been carried out (delayed from March until September due to Covid-19).

Although we have been working hard to deliver the project to clear the lake within the proposed timeframe (November 2020 to February 2021), it is now clear this is no longer possible. There have been delays in the process due the outbreak of Covid-19 and additional detailed information is required by the Environment Agency now the contractor has been appointed. The information will take two to three weeks to compile and a further 12 weeks for the application to be assessed by the Environment Agency which will take us beyond our timeframe for the work. Therefore, the work will now be carried out in November 2021.

The funding for this project can be rolled over to next year and we will continue work on site to prepare for the desilting operation in November. This will include a programme of tree management this season.

It is disappointing the project cannot be completed this year. However, given the environmentally sensitive nature of the works involved, it is essential to meet the required environmental standards set by the Environment Agency and ensure the project is completed safely and effectively.

Contact information

01454 868000

Photo of Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve

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Update: Tree works in Three Brooks LNR - 28th January 2020

As part of our desilting works at the lake we will be felling trees that have self-seeded in the proposed spoil area (marked spoil on the map below). This will enable contractors to deposit the silt on site. This location was used during the last desilting operation in 2005.

Arboricultural contractors will be on site from next Tuesday, 4th February, for up to three days to coppicing the trees.

Map of Three Brooks Nature Reserve

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Press release - 23rd January 2020

South Gloucestershire Council's cabinet agreed (Monday 13 January 2020) to allocate £250,000 from the Highways Maintenance programme to fund enhancement works to the Three Brooks Lake in Bradley Stoke.

Streams flowing from Patchway, Hortham, Little Stoke and Stoke Gifford all feed into the lake, which was constructed in 1993 to create an amenity pond for local residents. The lake was last desilted in 2005 and is now in need of desilting again. During the summer in 2019 low water flow exposed large areas of silt, exposing wildfowl nesting on the islands to predators including foxes and cats. This winter the high rainfall experienced across the country has led to the lake flooding twice.

The timing of the desilting works are restricted to being carried out between November and February due to the protected wildlife which uses the wetland area including water voles and otters. Between now and next autumn the council will appoint a contractor and work with the Environment Agency to obtain a bespoke licence.

The plan will be to reduce the water level in the lake by opening up the penstock. At the same time a professional fishery will catch all the fish, store them safely and then release the fish after the works have been completed. The lake will then be desilted by machine and the silt moved using dumper trucks to an area on site, which will be cleared this winter in preparation for the scheme starting in the autumn.

As part of this project and following requests, we will also surface a 300metre stretch of pathway, linking up Juniper Way with the reserve and making the lake more accessible to visitors.

With the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve becoming increasingly popular, public safety will be a high priority for the council and our contractor. We will provide updates in the form of on-site notices and posts on the Streetcare Facebook page

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I am delighted to inform you that the Council's Streetcare department has secured funding to enhance the amenity lake in the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, Bradley Stoke. Below is a press release which has been issued by the Council to inform residents of the planned works. I am very grateful for the local support given by local ward members, the Town Council, the conservation group and local residents in campaigning for funding to be secured for these works. The Council plans to keep all stakeholders briefed as the project develops.

John Morris
Partnerships and Delivery Officer
Environment and Community Services Team, South Gloucestershire Council

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