A pair of historic lakes have been restored to their former glory.

Lakes at Blickling Estate and Felbrigg have been restored by the National Trust after a 2018 survey by the charity found the brickwork in the dam walls of both lakes had failed.  

Blickling’s lake was formed in 1729 by damming the Silvergate stream, which runs into the Ruver Bure from Pond Meadow, and measures 2km at its widest point.

The lake at Felbrigg covers 11 acres. Both are teeming with wildlife.

Eastern Daily Press: The lake restoration project at Blickling EstateThe lake restoration project at Blickling Estate (Image: National Trust)

The work at both sites took place below the water level so required temporary cofferdams to hold the water back.

The working areas were then drained using pumps, discharging the water into the lakes.

The conservation work at Blickling was more complicated, requiring repairs to a sluice-gate mechanism which helps to control the water levels of the lake and prevents flooding to the surrounding land.   

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Eastern Daily Press: The restoration at the lake at BlicklingThe restoration at the lake at Blickling (Image: National Trust)

Katherine Garwood, the National Trust’s project manager, said: “With the water removed, it was incredible to see that the outfall was brickwork and not concrete as we had previously assumed.

“It also features intricate ironwork detailing – this was completely unexpected, as it was designed to be submerged under the water.

“We were also excited to discover that the sluice-gate mechanism was not just one single gate, but instead it features two gates, enabling water levels to be lowered from the top surface of the lake as well as from the bottom, depending on the circumstances.” 

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Eastern Daily Press: Construction of the Fellbrigg cofferdamConstruction of the Fellbrigg cofferdam (Image: National Trust)

Eastern Daily Press: The cofferdam at the lake in FellbriggThe cofferdam at the lake in Fellbrigg (Image: National Trust)

Blickling’s dedicated volunteer engineers, who previously helped to restore a waterwheel and water pumps, contributed to the repairing of the sluice gate.

The volunteers refurbished the salvageable parts and worked out what was missing, designing new components so the sluice could once again be fully operational.

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Eastern Daily Press: Repairs being made to the sluice-gate at the lake at BlicklingRepairs being made to the sluice-gate at the lake at Blickling (Image: National Trust)