Westcountry Rivers Limited (the trading arm of Westcountry Rivers Trust) were recently in Bath to undertake a drain-down and fish rescue at the oldest Lido in Britain, Cleveland Pools. The pool lies next to the River Avon and was once a welcome respite from the hot summers in the city. It has been closed since the mid 1980’s and a team of dedicated volunteers and the Cleveland Pool Trust are raising funds to get the pools restored to beyond their former glory with the water being naturally heated and treated.
The pool has been turned into a pond due to flooding from the River Avon which has brought with it native course fish such as Dace, Perch, Ruffe and home to Hornwort, a rare plant within the waterways around Bath.
The first part of the restoration works is to drain down the pool and rescue the fish that have made the pools home, colonising the pool from the river Avon. The draining of the pool will then allow access for engineers to examine the pool for structural repairs.
The drain down took place over 3 days with weed pulling and clearance taking place as the water levels dropped. Some of the weed was transplanted by a local ecology company to the canals around bath while the rest was put on the compost. Once the water level was low enough we then began the fish rescue which took place on the final day. We had lots of interest and help from volunteers and locals who helped to move the weed and also to move the fish to our fish tank to await transportation to their new home on a farm just outside of Bath.