Chew Valley is an area south-west of Bath, encompassing several small villages including Chew Stoke, Bishop Sutton and Chew Magna, the Valley’s commercial centre. Bordered by scarp slopes, the Valley is a lush, green haven full of Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Chew Valley Lake in particular is internationally renowned for its nature conservation interest.
Chew Valley has produced many notable companies including Chew Valley Construction, Nailsea Electrical—now a multi-million pound business— and organisations such as The Community Farm, dedicated to improving people’s understanding of food and bringing the community together. Chew Magna is the business centre of Chew Valley, offering retail and services such as banking.
The Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce achieved independent status from Norton Radstock Chamber in 2001, and has established itself as a vital forum for the local business community ever since. Members benefit from the networking and referral opportunities available, and the Chamber is strongly linked with local and district councils, sitting on many of their working groups and committees. The business membership is diverse and made up of mainlysmall and medium-sized enterprises.
Connecting Devon and Somerset is implementing a cost-effective plan to bring superfast broadbad to Devon and Somerset. The public-private partnership's ambition is to provide broadband speeds of over 24Mbps to all premises in the Devon and Somerset area by 2020. The upgrade should help businesses keep up to speed with competitors in more urban environments, whilst still enjoying the beautiful rural setting of the valley.
Chew Magna and Chew Stoke currently have live cabinets servicing the area; residents and businesses should contact service providers to see if they are covered and able to upgrade to superfast broadband. Those unsure whether their postcode is within the live area should use the postcode checker at the top left of this page.
Keynsham and Bath provide rail connections to Bristol and London, and Chew Valley has multiple bus routes to connect residents to both, as well as Radstock, Wells and Weston-Super-Mare. The Valley is crossed by A37, and the A38 serves the western end of the area, in which Bristol Airport is also situated, giving Chew Valley a good international link.
B&NES Council is also developing a transport strategy to improve Chew Valley’s community transport, roads, walking routes and parking.
Chew Magna- Best Village in Britain, 2011
Chew Valley’s largest village has been described as “probably the greenest parish in Britain”, and is currently working towards a “zero waste” status. Many of the village’s 1,150 strong population have joined the cause, structure around main focus groups: Waste and Recycling; People and Consumption; Transport and Energy; and The Converging World.
Locals are encouraged to recycle, use biofuels, shop locally with the aid of a Food Guide, and the Chew Valley School has even installed their own 6kw wind turbine. Chew Magna has also worked with 2 villages in India to provide them with a (much larger) wind turbine, giving their communities free energy and providing carbon credits which can be traded internationally.
Members of the Go Zero movement have set up The Converging World, a charity that will continue their work to offset the UK’s emissions by channelling money into some of the poorest parts of the world.
Most villages are served by their own Primary schools, and The Chew Valley School provides Secondary education for most of the area. The school has multiple awards and partners, and holds a Specialist Arts College status, meaning every student has the opportunity to study art, dance, drama, media and music, including learning a specific instrument, observing and contributing to extra-curricular activities and artistic performances.
Chew Valley has multiple opportunities for residents to keep fit and have fun, with a fully equipped leisure centre based between Chew Magna and Chew stoke offering everything from gym classes to ice-skating. Chew Valley Lake also has a sailing club which anyone is free to join.
For more creative types there is the Chew Valley Arts Trail, and Valley Fest 2016 is set to be a brilliant celebration of all things organic, with lots of local food and drink, crafts, kids’ activities and live music.
The Valley also has a rich history dating back to ancient times, as shown by the large amount of pre-historic artefacts found in the area. Forts and stone circles are available to visit, and many roman remains excavated in the Valley are on display at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the British Museum, London.