Blackbrook Reservoir

    Selected Wild Place / Other Wild Places / Public Rights of Way / VC55 boundary

    Getting There

    Access is limited to the public footpath which crosses the reservoir at the southern end. This footpath can be reached on Charley Road just south of Shepshed or from Oaks Road opposite Mount St Bernards Abbey.

    Managed By
    Severn Trent Water
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 51

    Description

    Blackbrook Reservoir is a 33.4 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Shepshed and Whitwick in Leicestershire.  The reservoir was constructed in 1796 in order to feed the Charnwood Forest Canal, which has long since vanished. The first dam constructed was an earthworks one, and this failed on 20 February 1799. In eleven minutes the reservoir was empty and as a result local farmland was ruined, sheep were drowned, and much of Shepshed and nearby Loughborough were affected by flood waters. The dam was repaired in 1801, but the canal was no longer commercially viable.

    The present gravity dam was constructed in 1906 and was officially opened by the first Mayor of Loughborough Joseph Griggs. In 1957 the dam felt the effects of a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. The tremors caused heavy coping stones to shift and cracks appeared in the faces of the dam.

    One Barrow Lane crosses the south-eastern end of the reservoir. The lane is carried by the One Barrow Viaduct, a blue brick construction consisting of three arches. Previously it served as the entranceway drive to the now demolished One Barrow Lodge Farm. This is a public footpath which eventually leads you out on the Oaks Road, near Mount St Bernard Abbey.

    The dam and reservoir is managed by Severn Trent and is currently in a redundant state. There is strictly no access to the dam which is on private land - a part of the Grace Dieu & Longcliffe Estate.

    Wildlife Highlights

    The reservoir has a plant community on its margins which is unique in the Midlands and only found in a few northern sites. Its unusual mix of flora includes Thread Rush Juncus filiformis at its most southern locations, and the lake itself has native White-clawed Crayfish, where it is isolated from the invasive American Signal Crayfish. The  unusual  mix  of  species  also includes Small Water-pepper Polygonum minus,  Lesser  Marshwort  Apium inundatum,  Floating  Club-rush  Eleogiton fluitans, Shore-weed Littorella uniflora  and  the  Pond  Water  Crowfoot  Ranunculus peltatus.  Species which reflect a more southerly or base-rich influence are Trifid Bur-marigold Bidens tripartita and Lesser Pond sedge Carex acutiformis.

    Status

    Site of Special Scientific Interest

    Further Information

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    BirdsLong-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus13/11/2016
    BirdsMandarinAix galericulata23/11/2012
    BirdsKingfisherAlcedo atthis12/01/2020
    BirdsRed-legged PartridgeAlectoris rufa17/10/2016
    BirdsTealAnas crecca17/10/2016
    BirdsWigeonAnas penelope13/11/2016
    BirdsMallardAnas platyrhynchos17/10/2016
    BirdsGreylag GooseAnser anser17/10/2016
    BirdsBean GooseAnser fabalis29/02/2012
    BirdsGrey HeronArdea cinerea20/09/2020
    BirdsCanada GooseBranta canadensis13/11/2016
    BirdsGoldeneyeBucephala clangula13/11/2016
    BirdsBuzzardButeo buteo13/11/2016
    BirdsBlack-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus13/11/2018
    BirdsRavenCorvus corax21/05/2015
    BirdsCuckooCuculus canorus21/05/2015
    BirdsGreat Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos major17/10/2016
    BirdsLittle EgretEgretta garzetta16/10/2018
    BirdsKestrelFalco tinnunculus13/11/2016
    BirdsMoorhenGallinula chloropus13/11/2016
    BirdsJayGarrulus glandarius13/12/2016
    BirdsGrey WagtailMotacilla cinerea17/04/2016
    BirdsCormorantPhalacrocorax carbo17/10/2016
    BirdsPheasantPhasianus colchicus17/10/2016
    BirdsChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita20/09/2020
    BirdsGreat Crested GrebePodiceps cristatus13/11/2016
    BirdsNuthatchSitta europaea13/12/2016
    BirdsLittle GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis10/01/2017
    BirdsRedwingTurdus iliacus26/11/2016
    ButterfliesRingletAphantopus hyperantus20/07/2015
    ButterfliesGatekeeperPyronia tithonus20/07/2015
    ButterfliesRed AdmiralVanessa atalanta17/10/2016
    Ferns & HorsetailsWall-rueAsplenium ruta-muraria09/03/2020
    Ferns & HorsetailsHart's-tongueAsplenium scolopendrium20/07/2015
    FungiKing Alfred's CakesDaldinia concentrica21/03/2018
    FungiBeech WoodwartHypoxylon fragiforme17/02/2019
    FungiStinkhornPhallus impudicus19/09/2016
    FungiHairy Curtain CrustStereum hirsutum19/01/2017
    MammalsMuntjacMuntiacus reevesi13/11/2016
    MammalsMoleTalpa europaea01/03/2017
    Slugs & SnailsArion ater agg.17/09/2019
    WildflowersRamsonsAllium ursinum09/04/2017
    WildflowersThale CressArabidopsis thaliana08/03/2020
    WildflowersCommon Mouse-earCerastium fontanum15/02/2017
    WildflowersSnowdropGalanthus nivalis18/02/2018
    WildflowersGarden Yellow ArchangelLamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. argentatum18/02/2018
    WildflowersWhite Dead-nettleLamium album01/03/2017
    WildflowersGreen AlkanetPentaglottis sempervirens09/04/2017
    WildflowersFeverfewTanacetum parthenium17/11/2019