Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Bewl Water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    349

    Default Bewl Water

    Bewl Water is a reservoir in the valley of the River Teise straddling the boundary between Kent and East Sussex. It is about 4 km south of Lamberhurst, Kent, England. The reservoir was part of a project to increase supplies of water in the area. It supplies not only Southern Waterís customers in the Medway towns, Thanet and Hastings, but is also used by other water companies in the area.

    Work began to dig the reservoir in 1973: by the time over 31,300 million litres of water had been pumped in, it was completed in 1975. It is now the largest body of inland water in south east England.

    Every winter, water from the River Medway is used to top up the reservoir, when flows in the river exceed 275 million litres per day.
    The reservoir is host to a huge variety of wildlife. Many recreational activities such as sailing, rowing, trout fishing and walking take place on and around the reservoir; this makes it one of the regionís most popular attractions. There is also a passenger boat, a restaurant, conference facility and gift shop.

    Bewl Water is home to Bewl Bridge Rowing Club, one of the largest rowing and sculling clubs in south east England. The club has strong links to the local community and has members covering a wide range of age and ability. It is Sport England ClubMark accredited and open to all.

    It is slightly misleading to say that the reservoir was 'dug' as it resulted from the flooding of a naturally occurring valley, dammed at one end. It is also worth noting that there is an outline plan to raise the water level by 3m to increase the yield by up to 30% to help with the growing demand in southeast England.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Nr Rochester in Kent
    Posts
    3,838

    Default

    This fairly large lake is run by Southern Water and has a lot of water based activities taking place there.

    http://www.southernwater.co.uk/homeA...tiesAtBewl.asp

    However they do not appear to permit public access to the water. Asked the direct question as to whether I oculd paddle there the response was "
    Thank you for your enquiry - please call the Canoe Club on 01580 713910 or see their website www.bewlcanoeclub.co.uk.
    you do have to be a member of the clu to use the water facilities here at Bewl."

    Grrrr .

    Some day I need to ask Bewl Canoe club whether I can paddle as a guest or something as I am a BCU member. They'll probably come over all health and safety on me though.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Yalding, Kent
    Posts
    2,689

    Default

    I am aware of at least one person who is regular visitor to SOTP who is also a member of the Bewl Canoe Club so hopefully Simon may be able to provide more details about opportunties for guests. Bewl is also a nice place to go with the family (walks/cycling/picnic/boat tour) and there is no entry fee (usually £6) for Canoe Club members so £60 family membership may be represent very good value for money for some.

    Bewl is also the venue for a number of water based activity courses run by Scouts & Guides throughout the Summer including Kayak & Open 1-3 star. I have paddled there 3 weekends this year (twice in opens) and due to go back for 2 more in September. So there are opportunities for those involved in Scouting or maybe even an additional incentive for anyone considering getting involved

    My limited past paddling experience has been on slow moving rivers so it was great to experience something completely different at Bewl, particularly paddling on a large water in very windy conditions. I hadn't realised lakes had waves that big when we crossed from one side to the other and also how quickly conditions could change.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    824

    Default

    I was a member of Bewl Canoe Club last year. Once you've done your 2 star award, canoe safety test (I think) and get 'signed off' by 2 of the instructors (!!!) you can go out on the water outside of canoe club hours. This meant some lovely, quiet caneoing for me last year (in fact one early morning I only shared Bewl water with one other person for a while!). Not sure if things have changed this year as I haven't renewed my membership this year - perhaps I ought to!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    96

    Default

    I came here with a few friends the other day mid-week and it's lovely. We had no idea (honestly!) about the no public swimming rule and wandered in there with body boards and towels and stuff, ended up finding a ranger and asking him where the best place for a picnic was- pretty obvious we were going to go in the water and he didn't bat an eyelid. Lovely swimming conditions, plenty of out-the-way places for a future camping trip too I might add.
    Going back up there tomorrow with my old windsurfing board and a kayak paddle to do some exploring. Call me irresponsible if you like but I find it ridiculous that only club members can use the reservoir, it's a bloody huge lake and there are plenty of places for put-ins etc, I won't be in anyone's way so I'm just gonna pay my car park entry and leg it into the water before they can say anything.
    I'll let you know tomorrow evening if I get away with it...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Well it was longer than I expected, but I went back to Bewl this morning with the board and paddles and parked right next to the reservoir on Rosemary Lane (it's free there, look on google earth at the extreme SE corner, looks like a bridge going over the lake).
    A short carry down the footpath and off I went. Some friends had a picnic on shore and a little swim while I set out across the lake; most passers-by seemed pleased to see others enjoying themselves in the water, no-one said anything about it, but someone must have mentioned something to one of the rangers (probably the driver of the tour boat) because he had a stroll past us not too long after we got there. No worries though, obviously not a problem because we stayed until about 5pm splashing about like goodun's.
    If you fancy a paddle down there I'd suggest parking on Rosemary Lane and just getting out there. I can't imagine anyone would give you grief, there's such an awful lot of space there after all I don't think you should pay anyone membership for very occasional use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Yalding, Kent
    Posts
    2,689

    Default Some pictures

    Some images taken at Bewl at a recent Scout weekend. Gives you some sort of idea of the place. I think it's about 13 miles if you go right around.


















    Last edited by elveys; 27th-September-2008 at 08:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kent, UK
    Posts
    262

    Default

    I've been working on Bewl Water this summer and it is a nice location but like many lakes can be very wind prone. I worked at the Outdoor Centre and we had to do our sessions just about whatever the weather. The great thing about the resevoir is that it has 3 branches leading into the main section so no mater what direction the wind comes from you can usually find somewhere to go do a session if its poor conditions at our normal get on, we used to cheat and use the powerboat to tow our kit out and our clients and then teach though.

    Bewl canoe club would often be there but they had rules they stuck to, i beleive braught on by insurance, the site operators and themselves, if you wanted to go anywhere on the lake you had to have a minimum of 3 paddlers, no exceptions, and one of them had to be at least a 2 start CST certified. All perfectly understandable but i'm aware some people feel that it is not what they want.

    There is no water access to general members of the public (unless you go on the tour boat or fishing). It is a used resevoir and the operators do not allow general members of the public to do water activities unless with one of the autherised clubs. In fact Southern water are pretty hot on it and put preasure on the clubs and other users to question any users that do not apear to be part of a 'sanctioned' group and report anyone suspicious.

    The plus side is it is a nice walk around the 18 miles of path that goes around the site.....
    Despite all the racing thoughts on where and when your going somewhere or even why, its when you get there and step back and realise that for all that noise, even in your own head, its the peace and solitude we go out there for and is the most precious

    www.Paddleguide.org

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuffstix View Post
    Well it was longer than I expected, but I went back to Bewl this morning with the board and paddles and parked right next to the reservoir on Rosemary Lane (it's free there, look on google earth at the extreme SE corner, looks like a bridge going over the lake).
    A short carry down the footpath and off I went. Some friends had a picnic on shore and a little swim while I set out across the lake; most passers-by seemed pleased to see others enjoying themselves in the water, no-one said anything about it, but someone must have mentioned something to one of the rangers (probably the driver of the tour boat) because he had a stroll past us not too long after we got there. No worries though, obviously not a problem because we stayed until about 5pm splashing about like goodun's.
    If you fancy a paddle down there I'd suggest parking on Rosemary Lane and just getting out there. I can't imagine anyone would give you grief, there's such an awful lot of space there after all I don't think you should pay anyone membership for very occasional use.

    hi there mate,

    I am off for a spot of camping at some point this weekend and was thinking that it would be massively nice if I could wake up 7am, and have a run into a lake for a cheeky ice cold swim.

    Haven't done that sort of thing since I was a young lad and think it would be wicked.. I have checked the google earth image and can see where to park etc.

    Was the water safe for swimming would you say? When was the last time you went?

    Cheers!

  10. #10

    Default bewl water

    Hi i like your thinking with regards to canoeing at bewl. I went there on saturday early evening with my partner and our two son and we parked on rosemary lane. We planned to have a little paddle and a picnic tea when a guy from the house next to the lake decided to come and infrom us on ALL the rules and regs regarding the lake. After lecturing us on health and safety ( we were wearing bouancy aids and small son was in a life jacket) and saying how lax it is on the continent compaired with here he then informed us he was off to the pub (he was in his car!!!!!!!). I find this extremly anoying as health and saftey is not their concern but making money is!! we live fairly near to bewl water but are not members of the club we are often away don't vey often get a chance to canoe locally. We like to use the lake when it is quiet ie early morning or evening if we joine the club we would have to canoe during club hours. My partner and i have cosiderible experiece we have canoed in canada, france and south africa and don't wish to be nannyed by a club!!especially as the club is mostly for kyaks and people using play boats

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Kingston, London, UK
    Posts
    162

    Default

    I've been reading up on Bewl Water and would like to visit for an afternoon.
    However the regs and membership notices i am reading in some sites are the antithesis of the kind of sailing I grew up with. I'm not being political. I just want to get out on the water without having to drive three hours.
    Would a kind soul let me know of a good drop in point?
    Thank you.
    S

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •