Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust

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The Wetlands
Restoration Project
The Lake Area

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The Southern Lake looking East



Similar to the upper north pond, this Victorian lake of one acre has been so silted that it had shrunk to one-third of the original at its southern end.

Again massively overgrown with rhododendron to a height of 8 metres, interspersed with birch, alder and oak standards.

The dam had been beached by floodwater at its eastern end, causing the lake level to fall by 600mm and creating a 3 metre deep gully below the dam.  All the original means of controlling the water level, including storm surges, were defunct.

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View of the west bank of
the unsilted part of the lake

Wildlife Value

"Rapidly diminishing".  (R. Kahn - Head Conservation Ranger, Forestry Commission : W. England).


To reinstate the lake with suitable control over water levels, the creation of islands and water depth not exceeding 600mm in northern half, and the establishment of typical flora and fauna.

To provide additional educational facilities for study and pond dipping.



1)  Repair breach in dam by constructing sluice.

2)  Control flood water level by constructing suitable spillway.

3)  Dredge lake bottom to give graded contour with water depth of 2 metres reducing to 300mm at the northern end.

4)  Excavate lake margins to increase lake area and to provide shelving depths.

5)  Plant lake shores and hinterland with willow and introduce indigenous flora from recently established stock in wetland area.



The lake now occupies an area very similar to that originally intended in Victorian times, with suitable control over water levels and storm surges.

Water plants are colonising lake margins.   Shorelines have become stabilised and colonised by typical flora and associated fauna.

The lake area is now the habitat of dragonflies, damselflies, toads and other amphibians.

Herons and Kingfishers are regular visitors.

Brown trout and bullheads abound.

Pond dipping has revealed a large diversity of aquatic life.



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Lake Restoration in Pictures

Civil Engineer's Plan

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