The charity making life better by water

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Harthill Reservoir upgrade

We are investing £5 million to upgrade Harthill Reservoir in South Yorkshire.

Harthill Reservoir

Update: 23 October 2023

Our engineers and contractors have been working hard to manage the Harthill Reservoir site safely during Storm Babet. The newly upgraded reservoir spillway has been serving its purpose well.

We are aware that the deluge of water brought about by Storm Babet has caused fish from the top pool to transfer into the bottom pool. We continuing to closely monitor the site and will be lowering water levels in the reservoir over the next few days and will carry out a fish rescue as necessary.

Should anyone have enquiries relating to the site, please contact our team on [email protected]

Update: 3 August

From Friday 7 July 2023 to Thursday 3 August 2023 we ran a consultation on the proposal to build 15 fishing platforms around Harthill Reservoir. This consultation has now closed. Thank you to everybody who shared their feedback. We are considering all the feedback that was submitted during the consultation ahead of submitting a planning application to the Local Planning Authority.

Update: 5 July

We are pleased to share our plan to build 15 modern fishing platforms around Harthill reservoir. These platforms will be for both day-to-day use and competitive fishing by anglers, and will enhance the fishing experience at the reservoir.

The new dedicated fishing platforms will help to preserve the reservoir by minimising damage to its stonework and sides, protecting the reservoir and ensuring it can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.

The image below shows where the platforms will be located around the reservoir. They will replace the existing fishing platforms, which are no longer fit for purpose. The new platforms will be constructed with three different levels to cope with fluctuating water levels in the reservoir, as shown in the image below.

Harthill fishing platforms

Project progress

The programme of works to upgrade Harthill reservoir is progressing well and we expect all work, including construction of the new fishing platforms, to be completed by late 2023 / early 2024.

Archaeological surveys were carried out in 2022 by South Yorkshire Archaeological Service (SYAS) to look for any buried archaeological features on the reservoir site.

In total, 16 small shards of pottery were found. It is thought that the shards belong to 14 separate pieces of pottery such as jars, dishes and bowls. The archaeologists estimate that some of these findings date back as far as the 13th and 14th centuries, with others dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

In addition to the shards of pottery, two tiny fragments of a clay tobacco pipe dating back to the 17th or 18th century were discovered, along with a 16th or 17th century copper alloy buckle and a small iron nail of undetermined age.

The collection of pottery will be archived in Clifton Park Museum. You can read the full archaeological report here.

If you have any further enquiries, please get in touch with our team by:

  • Freephone: 0800 028 8141
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Freepost: Harthill Reservoir Consultation, 5th Floor St James' House, Vicar Lane, S1 2EX

Update: 3 February

Canal & River Trust is distressed by the loss of carp in the stream taking water away from Harthill Reservoir. We'd like to thank the local anglers who first alerted us to the situation and who also helped our team rescue further fish from the stream which have been returned to safety. We think around 70 carp have perished. Fish rescues have been underway for several weeks at Harthill Reservoir, with thousands of fish already safely removed ahead of the engineering work. This phase of the project was due to continue until the end of this week, with this incident occurring on the evening before the final planned day of fish rescue.

We are speaking to the Environment Agency and will be conducting a full investigation to understand how this incident occurred. Initial reports indicate that the fish had been channelled out of the reservoir in water being drained from the manmade structure so that statutory engineering works can be completed.

The project

Harthill Reservoir, situated between Sheffield and Worksop near to the village of Harthill, was constructed more than 200 years ago to supply water to the Chesterfield Canal, located approximately two miles to the north.

From time to time we need to upgrade and improve the canal infrastructure to present day standards. In December 2020 we announced plans to upgrade Harthill Reservoir by redesigning the overflow spillway to increase the resilience of the reservoir.

Since then, our team has been working hard to develop and assess the design of a new weir and overflow spillway.

Our proposals

In January 2022 we shared more information on our proposals for Harthill Reservoir. We gathered feedback on these proposals through a public consultation.

The video below, which was shared as part of our recent consultation, explains more about the works we are planning to deliver. The presentation information is available to download here.

Update January 2023

Archaeological surveys are now complete and construction work is now underway. While the footpath across the dam is closed for safety, please follow the onsite signage and use the other footpaths around the reservoir. We will reopen the footpath at the earliest opportunity. We are looking to carry out the removal and relocation of the fish from the reservoir (via a fish rescue) as soon as possible, subject to appropriate weather conditions.

We anticipate that construction programme will be completed by winter 2023. The programme has been extended due to protracted land purchase process. Please keep an eye out for information signs around the reservoir and latest updates will be posted on this webpage.

Keeping in touch

In the meantime, you can contact our team with any further questions or comments by:

Emailing: [email protected]

Calling (Freephone): 0800 028 8141

Last Edited: 23 October 2023

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