Retired reservoir plans go on public display

The preservation of a retired Victorian reservoir in Cumbria is the subject of a special exhibition in Lamplugh next week.

United Utilities is proposing to carry out work on the reservoir embankment at Cogra Moss in order to maintain the body of water as a recreational space for future generations.

Details of the £1 million project will go on display on Wednesday 7 March at Lamplugh Village Hall, Lamplugh, CA14 4SF between 11.30am and 5.30pm. Residents will be able to speak to members of the United Utilities project team and raise any questions or concerns.

There will also be chance to chat to representatives of Lamplugh and District Heritage Society who will put on a display of historic photographs of the reservoir and surrounding area.

The reservoir’s future was under review after a safety inspection identified work was needed on the embankment, along with further modifications to allow the reservoir to be drawn down in the event of an emergency.

One option would have been to drain the reservoir permanently and return the valley to its natural state, however United Utilities announced in 2015 that the reservoir would be saved. Mark Graham, project manager at United Utilities, said: “We have been designing the detailed engineering plans to stabilise the reservoir and we’re now in a position to share them with the public.

“It was clear when we first announced the need for maintenance that there was a huge public interest in the site. We hope people will take the opportunity to come and look at the plans and give us their feedback.”

The work will involve the installation of a siphon which will allow the efficient release of water from the reservoir along with other essential maintenance.

Stan Buck, Chairman of Lamplugh and District Heritage Society, said: “We are pleased that United Utilities is undertaking work which will preserve this well-loved recreation area in the form which the population of Lamplugh and District have known it for over a century.

“Like other local villages, Lamplugh has lost several historic buildings and features which with hindsight should have been preserved, and we are glad this is not going to happen to Cogra Moss."

The project is due to start in March 2018 and will be completed by September 2018. The retired reservoir, built in 1880, has not been used as a water source for homes and businesses since 1975. Since then, United Utilities has continued to maintain the reservoir, which is used by a fishing club and is valued by local people as a place for recreation and relaxation.