Belvide Reservoir Drawdown

Belvide Reservoir is an important supply of water for the Shropshire Union Canal and it is also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its importance for migratory birds. In order to support the birds an annual spring drawdown of water levels takes place every year.

Belvide 19.05.21

Senior Hydrologist Sarah Temple-Phillips explains what its all about:  

In autumn 2020, as well as this drawdown, the water management team helped to coordinate an additional planned drawdown of Belvide Reservoir in order for reservoir works to be undertaken. This drawdown was coordinated to enable the Trust to undertake important surveys of the reservoir as well as enable the local bird club and fishing club to undertake important works. 

The drawdown of the level to 2.5m below top water level enabled West Midland Bird Club to complete a variety of habitat works at the reservoir. After receiving the correct permissions from Natural England, the bird club undertook a vast amount of habitat works through their contractors and volunteers; ranging from removing willows, to protecting the bird nesting islands from erosion with rocks. 

The lowered water levels also gave the local fishing club, Brewood Angling Club, the perfect opportunity to remove sunken structures such as old steel jetties and tree roots. These snags have deemed certain areas unfishable for decades, and the collective effort of more than thirty members attending two full day work parties, cleared them all. The transfer of tons of rocks back up to the waterline also got rid of dangerous snags, whilst offering more protection from the ongoing erosion. 

The photo of Belvide shows one of the bird nesting islands that was created by the bird club which is currently being used by hundreds of pairs of black-headed gulls for nesting. 

If you are interested in the birds at Belvide Reservoir the bird club has an excellent website: https://www.westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk/

Last date edited: 10 January 2022

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The water management team

The water management team spend their days making sure that we have just the right amount of water in our canals. Here they share some of the highlights of their work with us.

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