Action taken to avoid damage from flooding and mud on picturesque route at reservoir
Work has begun to upgrade the track around Bewl Water before the ravages of the winter months set in.
The improvement forms part of the ongoing regeneration of the reservoir since the new owners took over at the start of the year.
The well-trodden path forms the majority of the 12.5-mile route around the largest stretch of open water in southern England.
It is popular with both walkers and cyclists but some stretches of the path can become difficult to negotiate in winter because of flooding and mud.
Using 500 tons of natural aggregate, the first three miles of improvements are being made clockwise from the Bewl dam, through Chingley Wood and Polecat Wood to Goose Creek.
“The track is a popular route, but when we acquired Bewl in January it was clear that parts were almost impassable for much of the winter,” said Charlie Guy, Operations Manager at Bewl Water.
“Having worked closely with East Sussex County Council and our colleagues at Southern Water, we have devised a scheme to lay a stable, level, all-weather surface and improve drainage, making more miles of track available to users throughout the year.”
The Bewl Belle passenger boat will continue to operate throughout the autumn and winter, docking at Hatheralls Bay, Ferry Point and Seven Pound Creek so that visitors do not have to take on the entire length of the path.
“The upgrade to the track is a considerable investment, and is a long-term project,” added Mr Guy.
“It is difficult to put an exact timetable on future stages of improvements because the work is weather-dependent, but our aim is to improve access to the country park for all users.”
The works are expected to be completed by the end of October.