Chew Valley Lake

Chew Valley Lake


Chew Valley Lake

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Chew Valley Lake () is a large reservoir in the Chew Valley, Somerset, England, and the fifth-largest artificial lake in the United Kingdom (the largest in south-west England), with an area of 1,200 acres (4.9 kmĀ²). The lake, created in the early 1950s and opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956, provides much of the drinking water for the city of Bristol and surrounding area, taking its supply from the Mendip Hills. Some of the water from the lake is used to maintain the flow in the River Chew.

Before the lake was created, archaeological investigations were carried out that showed evidence of occupation since Neolithic times and included Roman artefacts. The lake is an important site for wildlife and has been dedicated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). It is a national centre for birdwatching, with over 260 species recorded, including some unusual sightings. The lake has indigenous and migrant water birds throughout the year, and two nature trails have been created. The flora and fauna provide habitats for some less common plants and insects.

Some restricted use for recreational activities is permitted by the owner, Bristol Water, including dinghy sailing and fishing, primarily for trout.


Chew Valley Lake in the Chew Valley at the northern edge of the Mendip Hills, surrounded by meadows and woods and close to the villages of Chew Stoke, Chew Magna and Bishop Sutton. When it was built in the 1950s,...
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