The lake was created between 1768 and 1771 by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. It is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) most notably due to its suitability for over-wintering migrating wading birds. It is also very significant in the context of the 'Capability' Brown landscape and our World Heritage Site status. The lake was dug out by hand then filled by building a dam across the flow of the River Glyme.
We have noticed over the last 10 years a gradual, but accelerating, decline in the condition of the lake, particularly in the area upstream of the Grand Bridge, which is now classified by Natural England as “unfavourable and declining”. This decline has been manifested in the build-up of silt, combined with nutrients and pollutants trapped in the silt resulting from historic practises within the catchment upstream.
Maintenance of the Lake has been identified as an important major project to be completed.
We have been advised that Queen Pool in particular is in a downwards spiral that cannot be corrected by nature alone, and that, without constructive human intervention, it will continue at an ever increasing rate. Failure to address this will ultimately result in harm to the landscape and parts of the lake reverting to wetland.
Some statistics about the Lake:
The solution is a multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder one, primarily involving dredging, improved catchment management, and upgrading the Thames Water sewage plant. The project is planned to take place over the next 5 years, and we anticipate that dredging will start in 2 to 3 years’ time at a cost estimated to be in the region of £5,000,000.
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