CAMPAIGNERS raised a toast to a picturesque reservoir which they claim is under threat.
But it could be their final act in a campaign to save the local beauty spot.
Cupwith Reservoir above Scammonden has been branded “dangerous” and could be partially drained.
A planning application has been submitted to Kirklees Council and councillors will visit the site next week. A report to the planning sub committee, which meets on Thursday, is recommending that the work go ahead.
Members of the Cupwith Reservoir Action Group (CRAG) organised a walk and ‘toast’ in their fight to keep the reservoir as it is. Campaigners and walkers met up to pop a bottle of bubbly and raise a glass to the reservoir’s future.
The Dartmouth estate is seeking permission for a new overflow system to keep the reservoir capacity at below 10,000m. The Environment Agency has deemed the reservoir “dangerous” and is insisting on safety measures.
CRAG believes there isn’t as much water in the reservoir as has been claimed and want to keep it as it is. The reservoir is also popular with swimmers.
Under the Reservoir Act 1975 the estate was ordered to carry out repairs to the most severely eroded areas upstream, repair the overflow channel walls and carry out other safety works. Alternatively, the reservoir can be shut down.
Pat Jones, of CRAG, said she was amazed how many braved the wind and rain to ‘toast’ the reservoir.
“Apart from our group, there were many people out walking which just shows how popular this place is,” she said.
The group warmed up with a stop off for lunch at the Rose and Crown at Cop Hill, above Slaithwaite.
The reservoir was constructed in the 1800s to improve the water supply to local mills in the Slaithwaite area and not to provide a source of drinking water.
The reservoir supplied water to a fulling mill and at the time it was stated ‘which was located somewhere on Merrydale Clough, upstream of Slaithwaite Reservoir.’
The fulling mill’s function was to take the clothier’s pieces and to process them to give a dense, felted finish by a practice known as prolonged pounding.
The mill has long been demolished. There is no evidence of any pipework from Cupwith Reservoir into the canal and consequently the reservoir has been redundant for many years.