The company that operates Cheddar Reservoir has said it is “unlikely” the beauty spot will be closed this week despite a recurrence of hot weather across Somerset.
The reservoir, considered one of Somerset’s finest natural attractions, has regularly closed throughout the summer in 2020 as a result of hot weather and the potential for visitors breaking the rules and swimming in the water.
On August 4, the site was shut down after 300 people were found to be breaking safety rules in the space of four hours.
A statement that has been present on the website of Bristol Water, which operates the reservoir, highlights that there have been a multitude of problems associated with the hot weather, including entering the water, littering and gathering in large groups during the Covid-19 lockdown.
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The advice says: “We’ve made the difficult decision to close Cheddar Reservoir during spells of sunny weather.
“We know that many enjoy the lake safely but we cannot ignore the minority that are choosing to swim, gather in large groups and litter – and even more importantly – we don’t want anyone to lose their life. It’s never safe to swim in reservoirs.”
However, a repeated closure this week is not looking likely despite temperatures once again rising into the 20s and new government restrictions around group gatherings coming into effect yesterday (September 14).
Bristol Water said it had seen clear signs that the enforced closures had been effective in reducing problems and transgressions at the site, also saying the company considers there to be a “real risk of loss of life” from people disobeying the rules around swimming in the reservoir.
It was also confirmed that further closures of the site were “unlikely” this week despite another spell of warm weather.
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A spokesperson at Bristol Water said: “It’s unlikely we’ll need to close Cheddar reservoir this week. It’s really encouraging to see a big improvement in the amount of people staying safe and out of the water, at Cheddar, and means the closures have been successful in its purpose.
“It’s never safe to swim in reservoirs. Our aim is to only use closures when we feel there’s a real risk to loss of life from ignoring rules.
“We love to see Cheddar brimming with our customers enjoying the lovely walk safely. Thank you so much to everyone for their patience and respect for the rules at Cheddar.”