Urgent warning after children reported playing on icy Farnley Reservoir

Frozen: Farnley Reservoir today. Photo: Daniel Riley

By John Baron

Yorkshire Water have urged children to stay off the ice at Farnley Reservoir, following several sightings this week.

The warning comes just days after four young boys died after the ice cracked in a lake in Solihull, West Midlands.

Finlay Butler, eight, his brother Sam Butler, six, and their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11, had gone to feed the ducks at Babbs Mill Lake, when the ice gave way, sending them plunging into the freezing water. Brave 10-year-old Jack Johnson fell in the lake while trying to save them.

Reports on social media suggest children and teenagers were seen on the ice at Farnley Reservoir on Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon at around 4pm and at 10am today (Friday, 16 December).

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson urged parents to educate their children about the dangers of walking on ice and said: “We’ve received reports of children walking on ice at Farnley Storm Lake.

“We would urge anyone visiting any of our sites not to be tempted to walk on any frozen areas of water. Tragically, in recent days we have seen the real dangers playing on frozen water can have and we would encourage parents to inform their children of the risks they are taking by walking on frozen lakes, reservoirs, rivers and canals. 

“At Yorkshire Water we offer education sessions for schools on the dangers of open water and what children can do if they get into difficulty. Teachers can visit our website to book their place to take part in future events.”

Armley resident Daniel Riley, who has long campaigned for safety improvements at Farnley reservoir posted on social media that he had received four messages this week informing him that people have been seen on the ice at Farnley Reservoir

“In light of the recent deaths in Solihull the message is poignant more than ever: Stay off the ice,” Mr Riley said.

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