A scenic ramble with plenty of birds in the Severn Valley
THIS RELATIVELY SMALL reservoir nestles in an idyllic setting within steep hillsides and the meandering River Severn. Constructed in the 1960s, the reservoir tops up the Elan Valley supply to Birmingham with water pumped from the river and treated on site. On a sunny day, the reservoir reflects sky blue but the smaller settling reservoir is somewhat tainted by the sediment of the treated water on the filter beds – but the birds don’t seem to mind! You may notice the shape is not quite oval – apparently during the construction there stood a Yew tree which had been imported from India which was protected by a preservation order, so the reservoir was designed around this! A good mixture of broad-leafed woodland and conifers provides good nesting habitats, while the Larches attract Crossbills and the nearby Eymore Wood is a favoured haunt. Although used for sailing and fishing, this deep reservoir attracts Goosander, Mandarin Duck, fishing Cormorant and now the occasional visit by Little Egret. Goldcrest breed, while a surprise find was a Firecrest one winter and, with the close proximity to the River Severn, Ospreys have also been noted during their migrations. Those interested in the nostalgia of steam trains will also get close views as the Severn Valley Railway runs through the site.