Tonnes of mud drained from Weston-super-Mare's Marine Lake so people can swim in it

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report here

Thousands of tonnes of mud and silt have been drained from a seafront lake in Weston-super-Mare so it can be brought back into use for swimming.

Marine Lake has not been cleaned for 14 years as the sluice gates at the sea pool have been broken.

But now work is underway to remove the build-up of mud, silt and wildlife from the water so it can be brought back into use for swimming.

Around 35,000 tonnes of silt needs to be removed from the lake and North Somerset Council is making use of the natural tide to flush it out.

Weston-super-Mare's seafront lake is within the tidal range of the Severn Estuary which is the second largest in the world Credit: Mudlarks: Claire Trevor-Roper

The first stage of the repairs will see the lake closed for eight weeks with diggers then brought in to remove any leftover silt.

North Somerset Councillor Mike Solomon said: "We're hoping the tides will do their work.

"We'll be in a position then to let the water back in, temporary gates and let people enjoy it."

New sluice gates will be fitted in 2022 so the lake can be regularly cleaned.

Marine Lake will be closed for an initial eight weeks as repairs are under way Credit: ITV West Country

Members of the public arrived at the lake early to witness the lake be drained with over a decade’s amount of silt and eels pouring out.

Members of the Mudlarks - a group which regularly swim in the lake despite its muddy conditions - went to see the start of the clean-up operation on Tuesday 20 April.

Jayne Haden, a member of the Mudlarks, hopes the project will rejuvenate the lake, and said: "The swimming teachers will come, paddle-boarders, canoeists, wind-surfers, a lot of cadet teams.

"I just think it's the jewel in Weston's crown."

Fellow members Claire Trevor-Roper and Jan Doyle witnessed the moment the water was drained out of the lake.

Claire said: "There was a massive, white jet [of water] and quite a lot of comments about like 'gosh, you could surf on it.' It was coming out at that speed, it looked amazing."

Jan added: "There were some little eels and there were some quite big conger eels, and there were some small fish.

"We didn't see any major fish get stranded so that's really good."

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