DUG OUT by hand, trampled down by boots, as for both lakes, Earlswood, and Olton Mere prisoners are said to have come in handy. and then flooded more than two centuries ago. Olton Mere, a 32-acre private-access reservoir effectively offers permit holders. Unlike Earlswood Lakes where it is free to walk around, and it open to the public, however payment to the membership to the sailing club.
Olton Mere was created as a reservoir to act as a feeder for the Grand Union Canal, which was opened in 1799. The Mere was formed from marshland fed by Folly Brook (now Hatchford Brook) and was designed to hold 150 locks full of water, but this was not achieved until the Mere was extended in 1834.
It is the largest of the few areas of open water in Solihull and supports many waterfowl. The woodland surrounding the Mere has remained undisturbed for many years, providing an important habitat for plants and animals.
There is no public access to the Mere but there is a good view of the Mere from the trains travelling between Solihull and Olton. The Olton Mere Sailing Club also has a membership category for those who wish to have walking access to the Mere. I was lucky in Jan 2017 to gain access to walk around the lake, kindly offered by a member of the club. The yearly cost for membership for walking is not inexpensive
Sailing on the Mere started in 1900 when five residents of St Bernard's Road leased the reservoir from the canal company. A club was formed for sailing, fishing and shooting, although shooting was suspended in 1926 owing to a shortage of wildfowl. My guess they shot them all by 1926.
Info came from Solihull Gov website plus http://oltonmere.com/becomeamembe/ more info about the club