Today I'm looking back at a walk by Ladybower Reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley which I featured on my last Five on Friday blog post as a photo collage. It's possible to walk for miles around the reservoir with wonderful views across the water on both sides of the path by the side of the wall of the dam and also marvel at the way it was constructed to contain so much water and manage the overflow. Everything is solidly built and on a grand scale.
On the side nearest the water is a high wall and on the other side is a wide area and another high wall at the water's edge. On the other side of the path there's a steep bank and views of the river Derwent, the water treatment buildings and the surrounding land which is maintained by the Severn Trent Water Company.
The water and buildings at the bottom of the sloping land is called the tail bay. It provides a route for overflow water from the reservoir to flow into the river Derwent and from there to the river Trent. By ensuring that the flow from the reservoir is maintained, controlled from the two draw-off towers on the dam, wildlife is protected. At the same time the energy produced from the release of water as it transfers from the reservoir through hydro turbines helps generate renewable electricity. The two pumping stations are capable of pumping around 170 megalitres of water every day to be cleaned at the Bamford treatment works which is then transferred for public use in the region. Two large bellmouth spillway shafts also help to maintain the flow of water as they act like giant plugholes. At certain times when the water is high the sight of water flowing into the shafts is spectacular although I've only seen and photographed this sight once a few years ago.
the tail bay
a bellmouth spillway shaft
a draw-off tower
On reaching the other side of the reservoir I turned back, but the walk either way by the river and across a bridge to Bamford or along the path to the upper end of this great expanse of water would have been enjoyable.
One of the sculptures on what is called the Bamford Touchstone Trail.
These were created to commemorate the Millennium to reflect memorable aspects of the village, old and new, with the help of a local artist, Jenny Mather. Clay models were created by local families and then the artist arranged them together to produce intricate designs. Rubber moulds were made to enable a resin and ground stone mixture to be poured in. This hardwearing material was used to withstand the weather conditions. The finish resembles gritstone found in the surrounding Dark Peak area and the form to look like the standing stones that can be seen on the moors. Sheffield University have made replicas of these ancient artefacts using similar techniques. The touchstones illustrate air, water, earth and fire and are situated on a 5 mile walk around the edges of the village. A celtic symbol is present on all the sculpture. (Notes taken from the Bamford Village web site about the project).