Welcome to the Carsington Bird Club website, containing information about the club, Carsington Water, latest bird sightings and much more!

 Posted by on June 10, 2011

A Brief History of Carsington Water

A stitched panoramic photo from a CBC member

Where does the water come from?

Some water flows into Carsington from local streams, but most is pumped in from the River Derwent when its level is high, which then flows along a 10.5km aqueduct, to then enter the reservoir through the Control Tower.

How big is the reservoir?

It is the 9th largest reservoir in England and can hold up to 7.8 billion gallons.


Carsington Water was officially opened in May 1992 by Her Majesty The Queen and is now one of the favourite leisure venues in Derbyshire, and is the 9th largest reservoir in England.  The valley in which Carsington reservoir is located was first circa. 2000 BC. A Bronze Age burial mound was discovered near to what is now the Visitor Centre and excavations in carried out in 1986 found human remains and bronze age tools such as flint knives and scrapers.

When the Romans were in England, the area to the north of Carsington was important for lead mining, and two Roman sites were discovered before the reservoir was built. The valley remained an agricultural area until the reservoir was started in 1979. Work began on construction in 1979, but in 1984 a section of the earth dam collapsed. Eventually in 1989 work began on the re-designed dam, and by 1992 the reservoir and all it’s facilities were opened to the public.

Whilst Carsington Water was being built, Severn Trent went to great lengths to minimise the impact of the construction upon the surrounding environment. The whole area surrounding the reservoir has been carefully landscaped to provide good facilities, acces whilst not compromising conservation. Over half a million trees and shrubs were been planted on the site and these have matured to provide the landcape you now see at Carsington Water. The woodlands are carefully managed to maximise their potential for wildlife. In fact in 1995 Severn Trent Water were given a ‘Forestry Centre of Excellence’ award for using ‘the highest standards of woodland management’.

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