Selected Wild Place / Other Wild Places / Public Rights of Way / VC55 boundary
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.
Total species seen at this site: 51
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.
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.
Site of Special Scientific Interest
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Silk Button Gall Wasp||Neuroterus numismalis||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Spangle Gall Wasp||Neuroterus quercusbaccarum||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Canada Goose||Branta canadensis||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Greylag Goose||Anser anser||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Mandarin||Aix galericulata||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Mallard||Anas platyrhynchos||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Great Crested Grebe||Podiceps cristatus||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Grey Heron||Ardea cinerea||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Little Egret||Egretta garzetta||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Black-headed Gull||Chroicocephalus ridibundus||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Buzzard||Buteo buteo||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Chiffchaff||Phylloscopus collybita||20/09/2020||Ken Charity|
|Wall-rue||Asplenium ruta-muraria||09/03/2020||Ken Charity|
|Thale Cress||Arabidopsis thaliana||08/03/2020||Ken Charity|
|Kingfisher||Alcedo atthis||12/01/2020||Ken Charity|