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Project under way to solve water shortage issues at Southwold Boating Lake

PUBLISHED: 09:12 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:12 07 September 2017

The lack of water in Southwold Boating Lake means there have been no model yacht regattas in 2017. Picture: Keith Warren

The lack of water in Southwold Boating Lake means there have been no model yacht regattas in 2017. Picture: Keith Warren

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Dredging of the Southwold Boating Lake is taking place in an effort to begin curbing issues that prevented competitive sailing from taking place in 2017.

Southwold Model Yacht Regatta (SMYR) hosts a number of events every year at Southwold Boating Lake. Picture: James Bass Southwold Model Yacht Regatta (SMYR) hosts a number of events every year at Southwold Boating Lake. Picture: James Bass

Southwold Model Yacht Regattas (SMYR) had hopes of a routine season dashed by a lack of water in the lake, also known as ‘the pond.’

Low water levels have long-threatened the pond, resulting in the cancellation of this year’s scheduled events, including the annual championships on August 15 which draws in visitors from across the country.

The problems surround the absence of a reliable water supply, as well as a dire need for dredging due to the build-up of sediment and debris.

The regattas draw in visitors from across the country. Picture: Nick Butcher The regattas draw in visitors from across the country. Picture: Nick Butcher

Although a pipe was once used to ferry water from the sea into the town council-owned pond, it has been unusable since work was done to the sea wall several years ago.

SMYR commodore Hugh Williamson emphasised the need to develop a management structure to ensure existing issues do not arise again.

“We have got to learn to properly manage this site because there has been lots of disappointment from people who want to use the pond,” said Mr Williamson.

All the scheduled regattas in 2017 had to be cancelled. 

Picture: James Bass All the scheduled regattas in 2017 had to be cancelled. Picture: James Bass

“Dredging of the pond is a necessity and that is taking place at the SMYR’s own expense; a great deal of work will then be needed to maintain the boating lake in the future.”

As a substitute for the championships, the SMYR’s committee hosted a social gathering on August 15, which was attended by town mayor Matthew Horwood and councillor Michael Ladd.

The gathering gave the group an opportunity to explain the issues they have been facing and highlight what needs to be done to get the pond in sailable condition.

SMYR Commodore Hugh Williamson (right) explains the problems to Town Mayor Matthew Horwood (left) and Cllr Michael Ladd. Picture: Keith Warren SMYR Commodore Hugh Williamson (right) explains the problems to Town Mayor Matthew Horwood (left) and Cllr Michael Ladd. Picture: Keith Warren

It is now hoped that a new pipe system - costing approximately £12-13,000 - can be installed whereby water is pumped from the sea into the pond again.

“A plan has been put in place for the pipe to be reinstated with a pump so that water can be taken at any time to fill the pond,” added Mr Horwood.

“We want to get this system up and running so that boating can resume as soon as possible.”

Southwold town mayor Matthew Horwood expressed hope that the problems can be solved before next year. Picture: Keith Warren Southwold town mayor Matthew Horwood expressed hope that the problems can be solved before next year. Picture: Keith Warren

For more information about SMYR, visit southwoldmodelyachtregattas.co.uk.

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