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Our lake is an important feature in the landscape and was made by blocking up two streams once the old house, Castleditch, was demolished in 1818. A few years ago, we had to restore the weir and did so with the help of English Heritage, now Historic England, and the Country Houses Foundation, but this time we have been on our own, as it were.

Lake Bank Repairs

The first image shows Tony Mckenna and his team from AES Europe http://www.aeseurope.co.uk/ Corby, in the process of hanging netting along the south bank where wave action over the years has severely undermined the bank, causing soil, trees etc to fall into the lake and making the edge unstable. The AES system, also used by the National Trust, will encourage the growth of vegetation to stabilise the bank over the period when the netting is still in place and after a couple of years, we are assured, the bank will look quite natural. If it works, we will extend the protection to other affected areas.

Lake Bank Repairs with Rob Shail

The second image shows Rob Shail and his team adopting a more structural approach using gabions to strengthen the all-important bund that blocks the valley in which the lake lies. This work is being done with guidance of a structural engineer, Mark Hayward, of Fairhurst http://www.wafairhurst.co.uk/ to comply with the requirements of the Reservoirs Act 1975. The bund has also been undermined and has had tree stumps threatening to weaken it further. When finished, we are told that the lake should be able to survive a once in 1000 years “event” ie a very big lot of rain, as we had on 19th July 2007 when it was a once in 250 years’ event with 150mm or 6” of rain.

It is good to know, though I may not be around to see it when it happens.

James Hervey-Bathurst
6th December 2016