Weston-super-Mare's Swimming Lake Open!

The BBC reports: A lake has re-opened following the removal of 30,000 tonnes of silt.

Marine Lake in Weston-super-Mare has undergone a £300,000 refurbishment, paid for by North Somerset Council, which wants to create "an outdoor swimming and watersports destination".

Councillor Mike Solomon said he was "delighted" to see the lake on Weston's sea front back in use. Weston Marine Lake dates back to the 1920s but has recently been unsuitable for swimming due to muddy waters.

North Somerset Council brought in specialist contractors from the Netherlands who spent two months removing the compacted silt to help restore the lake's original depth of around 13 feet. Other improvements include the sluice gates being replaced and new steps to help swimmers get in and out of the water.

Councillor John Crockford-Hawley, the council's heritage champion, has been campaigning for the lake's restoration for many years. "As with all such tidal projects it's essential to keep up with regular maintenance," he said.

"After storm damage and a decade without investment, it's so pleasing to see our lake back in use for paddling and serious swimming, healthy family fun and simple beachside relaxation.

"I look forward to taking the plunge once the temperature rises a degree or two," he added.

The investment is part of the council's £700,000 'Great Lakes' project which also involves work to revitalise Clevedon's Marine Lake and Portishead Lake Grounds.