Council to work with public on solution to Verulamium Lake problems following years of complaints

Verulamium Lake has been plagued with silt over recent years

Verulamium Lake has been plagued with silt over recent years - Credit: Archant

Following years of complaints about the state of Verulamium Lake, the council has announced a plan to work with the public on a solution.

Verulamium Lake.

Verulamium Lake. - Credit: Archant

Local residents, park visitors, community groups and wildlife charities will be asked to give their opinion about possible solutions following a major study of the lake and River Ver which is set to be carried out in early 2017.

The report will outline possible strategies and budgets for improving the water quality and the overall environmental conditions of the silt-clogged lake.

Concerns have been raised over recent years about the silt build up in the lake, which has led to a great number of duck deaths and a bad smell over the summer months. The silt is a combination of excessive bird droppings, leaf litter and other material, and builds up due to lack of water flow through the lake’s sluice gates.

The council is working with the Environment Agency (EA), Affinity Water and the Countryside Management Service on long-term solutions.

These include restoring the River Ver to its natural state which will, in turn, help water flow from the river through the stagnant lake to push out excess dirt.

The river is presently affected by alterations made decades ago which severely restrict the wildlife the river is able to support.

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The study, which has been commissioned by the EA, will detail ways of overcoming this.

The council has previously ruled out dredging the lake but has removed 45 tonnes of the estimated 12,000 tonnes of silt in recent months, with plans to take away some more in the future.

They maintain that this is only a temporary measure and a long-term solution is essential to prevent silt build up in future.

Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, St Albans council’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “I am confident the feasibility study will be a major breakthrough in our attempts to identify an effective and sustainable way of improving the environment around the lakes.

“We will be consulting closely with the public and finding out what regular park users and other groups feel about the various proposals.”