Photo: Jonathan Pryor

Campaigners’ joy as de-silting of Farnley Reservoir is confirmed

28 January 2019

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Farnley Reservoir is to be regularly de-silted following a hard-fought campaign by local residents, councillor and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves.

The reservoir’s owners, Yorkshire Water, has commissioned a contractor to carry out the work on its behalf.

They will be removing 30 metres of silt – approximately 100 tonnes – from the pond and hope this work will be completed by the spring.

The work is extensive and will involve using aqua dams as well as consulting with environmental specialists to ensure there isn’t undue impact on local wildlife.

Yorkshire Water aims to complete a de-silt on a similar scale next year too.

In addition to the de-silting work, Yorkshire Water will continue to schedule clean-up activities to litter pick and use specialist divers to remove large pieces of rubbish from the water.

These are in addition to the litter picks organised in the community by Cllr Matt Gibson (Lab, Farnley & Wortley) and his team of local volunteers.

Cllr Gibson was joined by children from the 8th South West Leeds Cubs group for a community litter pick around the reservoir on Sunday.

More than 40 bags of rubbish were filled by volunteers who came out to help, despite the windy conditions.

Yorkshire Water says it is also happy to continue discussions with Leeds City Council’s flood risk team to develop any further ideas for alternative uses of the balancing pond.

Cllr Gibson said:

“This is a great result for Farnley Reservoir. It’s been a long time coming and it’s taken many meetings and a huge amount of pressure to get us here.

“This is a triumph for the people of Farnley and Wortley who know how much potential the reservoir has to offer and would love nothing more than to see it back as the real community gem we know it can be.”

Local resident Daniel Riley launched a petition two years ago after growing increasingly concerned about a lack of lifesaving equipment around the reservoir, as well as its lack of maintenance.

Read more on the West Leeds Dispatch‘s coverage of Farnley Reservoir here.

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