Cheddar reservoir currently remains open

Cheddar reservoir status: OPEN

We’re not planning any closures as of yet


We’d also like to say thank you – everyone was very respectful of the closures in August and we’re already seeing a reduction in anti-social behavior on days outside of the closures.


Cheddar reservoir will be shut to visitors during periods of hot weather due to a spike in anti-social behaviour.

The decision comes after a drastic increase in people swimming, drinking, littering and gathering at the lake, and will shut during periods of hot weather.


Steve Smith, Head of Recreations at Bristol Water, said: “I’m a huge advocate of walking in nature for our wellbeing, so this is not a decision taken lightly.


 “We’re sorry that the actions of a small minority are ruining it for the majority, but we cannot risk anyone losing their life.”


“It might look inviting, especially at a time when holidays have been cancelled, but it’s never safe to swim in reservoirs.”


Cheddar reservoir currently remains open, but when the temperature increases to over 23 degrees, the path and car parks will be shut to visitors. It will reopen after spells of hot weather.  


During periods of closure, car parks and gates will remain locked and security will be on site.


Closures will be published on this page, at least 24 hours in advance, and on social media. Signage will also be in place locally.


Thank you to everyone who enjoys the reservoir safely and we’re sorry that we’ve had to resort to this.


FAQ – common questions


Why can’t I swim in the reservoir?

The reservoir is for drinking water. Reservoirs are complex machines designed to pull water in. There’s hidden machinery that cannot be seen from under the surface.
The temperature can also be deceptive and induce cold water shock where your muscles freeze – preventing you from swimming.


There’s also the risk of algae which is toxic to humans and furry friends, and weeds which can get tangled on your feet. In 2018, sadly, 585 people lose their life in the UK due to drowning. Please stay safe.


How will you monitor the reservoir during closures?

We will have both security and a group of Bristol Water volunteers present during closures. There will also be clear signage. Paths and car parks will be locked.


Is there nothing else you can do? It’s not fair for the majority who enjoy the lake safely.

Closing the reservoir really is a last resort. Trust us – we do not want to have to do this. We did try speaking directly to anyone not following safely rules. This lead to over 300 points of contact in 4 hours – many of whom resumed once we left. It is also not a sustainable approach.


Why are you doing this now, and not any other year?

This year, the anti-social behaviour has been unlike any other year. We believe this might be due to lockdown, with many of us having holidays cancelled or not being able to go to e.g., swimming pools.