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  • Wildlife and conservation: access

    We own hundreds of sites and landholdings across our region, ranging from small pumping stations to large treatment works and reservoirs.

    Our region is incredibly rich in wildlife with many nationally and internationally protected species and habitats which are also found on our own land.

    We recognise our responsibilities to conserve and enhance wildlife and heritage on our land and provide access for the public where possible.

    Where there is public access to our facilities, we aim to ensure these are well-managed and as accessible as possible.

    We have a number of reservoirs and lakes which are often also nature reserves.  

    Many are open to the public and offer a variety of recreational activities, opportunities for visiting special wildlife habitats and viewing historic features including:

    • coarse and game fishing
    • clubs for fishing, water skiing, canoeing, sailing and model boating
    • fishing lodges at our four principal reservoirs
    • nature trails with viewpoints, picnic areas and bird watching
    • visitor guides to reservoirs and lakes
    • six dedicated full-time rangers with a range of responsibilities at our reservoirs -  site checks, visitor and fishery information, fishery and habitat management.

    We also have a water supply museum and seven education and study centres in the region which are part of our education programme run by three education advisers.

    In 2015 we appointed a full-time conservation, access and recreation (CAR) officer to oversee and co-ordinate CAR projects at some of our largest and most visited sites, and those of greatest importance for wildlife and heritage.

    Ten new projects were initiated in 2016-17 including:

    • the refurbishment of the new toilet block at Sutton Bingham reservoir
    • improving footpaths at Otterhead Lakes and Tucking Mill reservoir
    • a public bat walk at Backwell Lake 
    • tree surveys and improvement works across a number of sites.

    For more information see our conservation access recreation report in related downloads.

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