Stowe Octagon Lake project

This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

From September 2013 vital conservation work will be taking place on our Octagon Lake offering a rare opportunity to discover some of the history of the lake and the gardens as a whole.

Why are we draining the Lake?

In order to comply with the Reservoirs Act 1975, work will be carried out to Octagon Lake over the autumn months. The project is designed to increase the flood capacity of the Octagon Lake to pass the '1 in 1000 years' flood level.

What does the project involve?

The works will involve draining the lake for a few months whilst work is carried out to raise the crest of the dam, refurbish the culvert, relocate the auxiliary spillway and increase the capacity of the service spillway. The cascade walk between the Octagon and Eleven Acre lakes is likely to be closed for the duration of the project.

The project could potentially have an impact on the environment therefore we have taken into account a number of ecological factors with steps taken to mitigate the impact on a variety of species. Bat surveys have been carried out to ensure that no species of bats will be impacted by the works and the start date was chosen specifically to comply with wildlife legislation and to time it with the end of the nesting bird season. The fish and other residents of the lake will also be relocated to the Eleven Acre lake whilst the Octagon Lake is drained.

When will it finish?

We anticipate work on the cascade walk will be finished by December, at which point the lake will be allowed to naturally refill over time.