Chadwick lakes rehabilitation project approved

Studies prepared by environmental consultants revealed that the valley is presently in a deplorable state

Studies by environment consultants reveal that the valley is presently in a deplorable state
Studies by environment consultants reveal that the valley is presently in a deplorable state

The Planning Authority on Wednesday approved approved a long-overdue restoration of Chadwick Lakes with the aim of protecting ecologically sensitive areas from being trampled upon by picnickers.

The new project by the national Water and Energy Agency, will seek to limit picnics to designated recreational areas, detached from the valley bed.

Nature enthusiasts and trekkers will still have access to the valley through trekking guided by informative signage on the area’s aquatic, natural and historical heritage. This will guide trekking to established pathways and avoid trespassing in the valley bed.

The proposed works include the reinstatement of the storage capacity of the existing dams and the restoration of the valley ecology through the removal of debris and silt deposits which have accumulated over the years.  Banks and retention walls will be rebuilt in an environmentally acceptable manner.

A playground constructed in the valley bed constructed in the 1990s will be removed.

Studies prepared by Environmental consultants, ADI, reveal that the valley is presently in a deplorable state.

The report states that a lack of maintenance and proper management have led to a number of problems including a reduced surface water retention capacity due to the accumulation of sediment and debris, a proliferation of invasive and non-native plant species, the dilapidation of the rubble and retention walls and illegal dumping.

A number of off-road motorcyclists are also known to frequent the area and use the rural pathways to ‘scramble’ around the valley. This causes harm to the vegetation.

Moreover, most of the original infrastructure designed by Lord Chadwick in 1884, has been left in a derelict state.

In an average rainfall year, the dams are estimated full, two to five times. If the three dams are repaired, cleaned and maintained, 70,000 cb.m of water would be stored.

Studies have also confirmed the pervasive presence of a crayfish native to North-Eastern Mexico and South-Central USA, which may pose a threat to the conservation of indigenous species at Chadwick Lakes.

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