Grafham Water

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Grafham Water
Water Tower at Grafham Water - geograph.org.uk - 690586.jpg
Grafham Water
Cambridgeshire UK relief location map.jpg
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Grafham Water
Location Cambridgeshire
Coordinates 52°17′53″N0°18′54″W / 52.29810°N 0.31504°W / 52.29810; -0.31504
Lake type reservoir
Primary inflows pumping (River Great Ouse)
Primary outflows water treatment
Managing agency Anglian Water
Built1965
Max. length4.3 km (2.7 mi)
Max. width2.35 km (1.46 mi)
Surface area 6.28 km2 (1,550 acres)
Max. depth21 m (69 ft)
Water volume 57.8×10^6 m3 (2.04×10^9 cu ft)
Shore length116 km (9.9 mi)
Surface elevation42 m (138 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.
Grafham Water dam and aeration tower Cmglee Grafham Water dam tower.jpg
Grafham Water dam and aeration tower

Grafham Water is an 806.3-hectare (1,992-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) north of Perry, Huntingdonshire. [1] It was designated an SSSI in 1986. [2] [3] It is a reservoir with a circumference of about 16 km (10 mi), is 21 m (69 ft) deep at maximum, [4] and is the eighth largest reservoir in England by volume and the third largest by area at 6.27 km2 (1,550 acres). An area of 114 ha (280 acres) at the western end is a nature reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. [5]

Contents

The lake was created by building an earth and concrete dam, constructed by W. & C. French in 1965, [6] and water is extracted and processed at an adjacent Anglian Water treatment plant before being piped away as drinking water. It was shown from the air, before it opened, in 'Look at Life (film series)' ' 1965 episode, 'Will Taps Run Dry ?', narrated by Tim Turner.

The reservoir was immediately colonised by wildlife and a nature reserve was created at the western side of the reservoir. [5] The nature reserve contains semi-natural ancient (at least 400 years old) woodlands and more recent plantation woodlands, grasslands and wetland habitats such as reedbeds, willow and open water. [7] The reservoir has nationally important numbers of wintering great crested grebes, tufted ducks and coots, and of moulting mute swans in late summer. A pond has a population of the nationally uncommon warty newt. [8]

Water is obtained by pumping water from the River Great Ouse nearby. There are two pumping stations associated with the reservoir. One is located just behind the dam, the other at Offord Cluny alongside the River Great Ouse. At times of high potential flood risk, Grafham Water treatment works can increase the amount of water it takes up to maximum capacity to help reduce the risk of flooding along the river.

As of January 2011, it was the only site in England, and the first in the UK, to harbour the invasive killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus). [9] [10]

Grafham Water is popular for a range of leisure activities including sailing, fly fishing and cycling. In 2019, a live-action gaming centre, Rumble Live Action Gaming, was opened in the woodland arenas on the edge of the reservoir. [11]

20170813-RJPLancaster-GrafhamWater rotate crop.jpg
The Grafham Water reservoir from the air

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Totternhoe nature reserve</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ely Pits and Meadows</span>

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References

  1. "Great Britain and Ireland - interactive county map". wikishire.co.uk.
  2. "Designated Sites View: Grafham Water". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  3. "Map of Grafham Water". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  4. "NRA Ferric Dosing of Grafham Water" (PDF). Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  5. 1 2 "Grafham Water". Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  6. "Buckden: A Huntingdonshire Village". p. 154. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  7. Nick Bingham; Andrew Blowers; Christopher Belshaw (2003). Contested Environments. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN   0-470-85000-0.
  8. "Grafham Water citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  9. "Alien 'killer' shrimp found in UK". BBC News. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  10. "Invasive shrimp found at Grafham Water". Environment Agency. 9 September 2010. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  11. "Are you ready to 'Rumble'?". 28 August 2019.

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