Work underway on new Chew Valley Lake walking and cycling trail

28 Sep 2021

More people will soon be able to enjoy the beauty of Chew Valley Lake with work on a new 2.7km walking and cycling trail now underway.

The £1.5m all-weather path on the northern section of the lake will make the Chew Valley Trail accessible to everyone.

The improvements are being funded by a £507,000 grant from the Rural Payments Agency, £1m from the West of England Combined Authority and contributions from Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bristol Water, who own the reservoir.

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet assistant for Planning and Sustainable Transport, Councillor Matt McCabe was joined on-site by Chew Valley resident Bill Blyth, who has campaigned for the trail, as well as the Mayor of the West of England Dan Norris, Trustee of the Chew Valley Lake Recreational Trail Chris Head,  Bristol Water Chief Finance Officer Laura Flowerdew and Nick Baker from Chew Stoke Parish Council to look at the progress so far.

Chew resident Bill Blyth who spearheaded a campaign to get a walking and cycling trail said: “This has been a long time in the making and I am so delighted to see it happening at last, I can’t stop grinning. So many agencies have been involved over the years, it’s a real team effort. When the work is completed families will have a safe place to come and cycle and walk around the lake.”  

Councillor Matt McCabe said: “Chew Valley Lake is a very special part of our landscape and it’s fantastic we can now open up the trail around it for more people to enjoy on foot or by bike. We are, however, being incredibly careful to protect wildlife and the sensitive environment we are working in.”

West of England Mayor Dan Norris said: “It’s good to see this brand-new walking and cycling trail around the stunning Chew Valley Lake starting to take shape. Many thousands of people will look forward to using this 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 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)

Laura Flowerdew, Chief Finance Officer at Bristol Water said: “It’s a delight to see the work at Chew Valley Lake now underway after we’ve just finished the installation of our brand-new playground there. The experience at our lakeside is about to get even better for everyone, there’s been a lot of work our end from nature surveys through to buying extra land to make it possible,  it’s a real collaborative project.”

Chris Head, Trustee of the Chew Valley Lake Recreational Trail added: “the creation of this multiuse off-road trail will be a major asset to the Chew Valley. It will provide a great way for people to get outside, to exercise and to experience the diverse and varied environment that exists in the Chew Valley.”

It’s expected walkers and cyclists will be able to enjoy the new path early next year.