Posted April 15, 2020
MULTI-MILLION plans to save the lake at Blenheim Palace have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak
Experts believe there is a three-to-five-year window within which action needs to be taken to prevent the waterway from drying up and becoming marshland.
When underway, the project will see more than 300,000 cubic metres of silt removed from the Queen Pool lake.
Work doing this was due to begin this month.
While the dredging programme is deemed crucial to manage rising levels of silt, which have now reached a critical point, Blenheim says it had no alternative than to delay the project.
Blenheim Estates director Roy Cox said: “As the impacts of Covid-19 on both our health and the economy began to show, it became clear that, even if we had been in a position to proceed, there was simply no way the contractors could carry out the work safely.
“While it’s disappointing to press pause on such a major project saving the finest view, there are more pressing challenges in our society.
“We will however be carrying out some essential repairs to the cascade later in the spring when you may see water levels dropped.
“At this stage we intend for this to be a short delay on the dredge and we know that, unless this work goes ahead, the lake is forecast to become a wetland in less than five years and this historic landscape will have been lost.”
The lake’s original water depth was over two metres.
However, today more than 70 per cent of it is less than 30cm.