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Bewl Water facts for kids

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Bewl Water
A lake surrounded by trees
Bewl Water
Location Kent/East Sussex
Lake type reservoir
Basin countries United Kingdom


Bewl Water is a reservoir in the valley of the River Bewl, straddling the boundary between Kent and East Sussex in England. It is about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Lamberhurst, Kent. The reservoir was part of a project to increase supplies of water in the area. It supplies not only Southern Water’s customers in the Medway towns, Thanet and Hastings, but is also used by other water companies in the area.

Work began to construct the reservoir in 1973 by damming and then flooding a valley. It was completed in 1975 having been filled with over 31,300 million litres of water. The project cost £11 million to build. It is now the largest body of inland water in south east England.

In winter, when the flow in the River Medway exceeds 275 million litres per day, river water is pumped to storage in the reservoir. There is an outline plan to raise the water level by a further 3m to increase the yield by up to 30% to help with the growing water demand in south-east England. This will however put further demands on the River Medway to supply the additional water required with the potential for environmental degradation in the river and the eco-systems that it supports.

The reservoir in common with most large clean water lakes, is host to a large variety of wildlife.

Leisure use

Many recreational activities take place on and around the reservoir. These include sailing and windsurfing (formerly through Bewl Valley Sailing Club, now through Bewl Sailing Association Ltd), rowing and sculling (through Bewl Bridge Rowing Club), Canoeing and Kayaking (through Bewl Canoe Club), trout fishing, walking and cycling (on a 1212 mile Round Reservoir Route).

Bewl Water Outdoor Centre offers a wide range of training, team building and adventure opportunities, on and around Bewl Water.

There is also a passenger boat and a restaurant, conference facility and gift shop.

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