THE Canal and River Trust says it is close to completing its £1.6million programme of improvements to the reservoirs at Earlswood.
The works, to comply with reservoir legislation, have included strengthening the core of the main dam along Valley Road to improve its resilience during flood events.
The lakes at Earlswood consist of three reservoirs – Terry’s Pool, Windmill Pool and Engine Pool – built in the early 19th Century to supply water to the Stratford Canal.
Together they occupy 70 acres and are popular with people from across the West Midlands for walking, fishing and sailing.
“We have completed the majority of our planned works at Earlswood Lakes,” said project manager Ian Bogges.
“As well as strengthening the reservoir dams, installing drainage in the embankment and dredging the canal feeder channel, we have also upgraded two major sections of footpath, added new angling platforms and wildlife habitat enhancements.
“These include: coir roll soft bank protection planted with native plant species along the canal feeder channel, and securing waste wood in Windmill Pool for invertebrates and fish within the water, and to provide a step up over the metal piles for wildlife.
“We are grateful for the patience of local residents and businesses while we carry out these important statutory works.
“These will enable people to continue to use and enjoy the lakes and local waterways, for wildlife, recreation, health and wellbeing.”
As part of the reservoir improvement project, the footpaths alongside the left bank of Engine Pool and right bank of Windmill are being widened and resurfaced to make them accessible all year round.
They are due to fully reopen by mid-November.
The Trust will be looking at ways to fund further footpath improvements at the lakes in the future.
The lakes are now refilling with rainwater, allowing sailing to resume, and the temporary works compound in Malthouse Lane Car Park is being dismantled.
Wood Lane car park will remain closed until mid-November, when the Trust’s final inspections are complete.
For more information about Earlswood Lakes works, click: here or call the Canal and River Trust on 03030 404040.
For more on Canal and River Trust visit: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk