Dredging of Brooklands Lake has been completed after workers battled against poor weather to carry out the popular venue’s overdue revitalisation.
Winter weather meant shifting silt from the bed of the attraction was akin to ‘moving around soup’, senior councillors were told on Tuesday (April 10).
Five Rivers was appointed by Worthing Borough Council following a public petition calling for the lake to be dredged, with concerns high levels of silt was harming wildlife.
The specialist contractor finished removing silt on Tuesday, repositioning it around the edges and creating a new island.
It was initially estimated 15,000 cubic metres of material would be removed – equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
But addressing the joint strategic committee, council head of environmental services Andy Edwards said around 18,500 cubic metres had been shifted.
He said: “The weather conditions have certainly gone against them. It has made conditions really difficult to remove the silt.
“It has led to approximately two months’ extra work to complete the scheme.”
Fencing will remain in place for up to three months while the newly-created margins settle and become firm enough for the public to walk on.
Mr Edwards said a boardwalk on the south west side of the lake needed to be constructed.
The future of Brooklands Park will be the next focus, with consultants drawing up options prior to production of a masterplan to improve facilities.
Councillor Edward Crouch welcomed the works, which he hoped would make the park a far cry from its ‘depressing’ state he recalled from his childhood.
“The only concern I have is you (Mr Edwards) used a similar phrase to ‘draining the swamp’ and I am really worried that a certain orange famous man from America may take an interest in this swamp-draining exercise,” he joked.
Councillor Diane Guest, cabinet member for environment, said she was ‘really proud’ of the project, noting the successful formation of the Friends of Brooklands Park residents’ group.
Leader Dan Humphreys said: “It was something that was in need of doing and we are really proud of what is happening there.”