Rutland Water

Rutland Water

Infobox lake
lake_name = Rutland Water
image_lake = Rutland Water - swans (508268544).jpg
caption_lake =
image_bathymetry =
caption_bathymetry =
location = Rutland
coords = coord|52|40|N|0|40|W|region:GB_type:waterbody|display=inline,title
type = reservoir
inflow =
outflow =
catchment =
basin_countries = England
length =
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Rutland Water is a reservoir in the county of Rutland, England, just east of the county town Oakham. It was known as Empingham Reservoir during its construction and until its official opening in 1976. The centre of its dam is at British national grid reference gbmappingsmall|SK942078. It provides a reserve supply of water in the driest and most densely populated quarter of the United Kingdom and is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. By surface area it is the largest reservoir in England, but by capacity it is exceeded by Kielder Water.

Set in 3,100 acres of countryside, the reservoir offers something for everyone in an exciting yet peaceful environment. It has a 25-mile circular track for walking and visitors may hire a bicycle. [ [ East Midlands Attractions] , retrieved 06.09.07] . Since the water is drawn upon when needed, the relative areas of land and water vary a little but the flatter parts of the lake margin are enclosed by banks so that the wetland nature reserve is maintained (gbmapping|SK886073).


Its construction by damming the Gwash Valley near Empingham was completed in 1975. It flooded six or seven square kilometres of the Gwash valley as well as the side valley at the head of which lies Oakham. Nether Hambleton and most of Middle Hambleton were demolished and their wells were plugged as part of the ground preparation. Their neighbouring village of Upper Hambleton survived, and now sits on a peninsula within the lake known as the Hambleton Peninsula. The Gwash makes a net input to the lake but its flow downstream is maintained. Most of the stored water is extracted from the River Welland at gbmapping|TF017060, between Tinwell and Stamford and from the River Nene upstream from Peterborough, a city which is a major user of the water.


Upper Hambleton and the remnant of Middle Hambleton, including the Old Hall, are now known simply as Hambleton and are to be found on a long peninsula in the middle of the lake: land which was formerly a ridge between the two valleys in which the lake now lies. The few houses of Normanton avoided flooding although its church did not. The lower part of the building was supported against water damage so that its upper part could be used to present the story of the construction of the reservoir to the public. Some funerary monuments from it can be seen at Edenham church, Lincolnshire.


brings visitors from far afield. The Butterfly and Aquatic centre provides an indoor attraction.


Large areas of wetland (as well as several small woods) at the western end of the lake form a nature reserve, managed by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. The area is designated a Special Protection Area of international importance for its wintering populations of Gadwall (some 4% of this species’ European population) and Shoveler. It is home to the Anglian Water Bird Watching Centre. Every August, the centre is the venue for the British Birdwatching Fair. Other birds found here include Lapwing, Coot, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Teal, Wigeon, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and, most notably, Osprey.

The lake itself is extensively stocked with fish.


External links

* [ Rutland Cycling]
* [ Info]
* [ Anglian Water's page]
* [ Rutland Water Nature Reserve]
* [ Special Protection Area data]
* [ Tourism Guide to Rutland Water]
* [ Rutland Sailing Club]
* [ Information on Rutland Water and cycle hire]

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