The creation of Millbrook Lake occurred in 1981 when the tidal creek was dammed, prompted by recurrent flooding that afflicted the village during the 1970s. Positioned at the western end, near the doctor's surgery, the lake benefits from a freshwater inflow, while a strategically positioned sluice in the dam prevents excessive water accumulation. Periodically, particularly during the summer months, the lake undergoes a draining process by opening the sluice at high tide, enabling water to gradually recede with the falling tide. This measure effectively prevents the accumulation of midges, which have historically plagued the area. The subsequent replenishment of the lake occurs through the influx of saline water during the subsequent incoming tide. However, this rapid fluctuation in salinity poses a detrimental impact on the establishment of plants along the lake's edges, resulting in a scarcity of emergent and marginal aquatic vegetation. Nonetheless, bankside vegetation is permitted to thrive during the summer months, offering nesting sites for various wildfowl species, including Mallard and Moorhen. This camera was installed and is maintained by the Environment Agency and can be viewed here
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Millbrook, with a documented history dating back to at least 1442, when Sir John Cornwall was granted the title of Lord of Millbrook by Henry VIII, has evolved over time. The earliest known description of Cornwall states that during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Millbrook was a prosperous fishing town. However, the town lost its ancient privilege of sending two members to the House of Commons during the reign of Henry VIII, as it could not afford to pay its members the required daily allowance of four shillings while engaged in parliamentary duties.In the past, Millbrook thrived as a prosperous fishing village, boasting a fleet of at least 40 boats. Many men from Millbrook sailed off to participate in the wars during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In more recent times, Millbrook's prosperity relied heavily on industry, which, in turn, was significantly dependent on water transportation. The Naval Dockyard situated across from Millbrook served as a principal customer for the local industry. Industrial activities were primarily concentrated in the Southdown area, located on the northeast side of Millbrook Lake.The impact of industry on the landscape is described in an article published in the Western Morning News on May 16, 1889. It highlights the stark contrast between the serene beauty of Mount Edgcumbe and the altered landscape between Cremyll and Millbrook, characterized by factory chimneys, bustling quays, grimy barges, mounds of clay and earth, and the less appealing surroundings associated with a manufacturing district. This transformation was attributed to the development of two significant industries: brick manufacturing and terra cotta production. The flourishing condition of the smelting works also contributed to the influx of people into the area, resulting in a sudden population increase and the conversion of barns and outhouses into lodging houses. The smelting works, primarily for copper extraction, ceased operations around 1904. Brick production, which commenced around 1885, experienced intermittent periods of interruption between 1942 and 1950 until the closure of the old Southdown Brick Company in 1956.Initially part of the parish of Maker, Millbrook became a separate parish in 1869. The Old Church, constructed in 1826, served as the sole place of worship until its establishment.