Yorkshire Water is a utility company which provides 1.7m households
and 140,000 businesses with water and sewerage services. It is 'serious
about the protection of our environment' with a multi-million pound
investment programme in environmental improvements.
It is also the regionís largest landowner, owning 72,000 acres of
land. Most of its reservoirs are on the eastern fringes of the Pennines
and a number are within the Wharfedale Naturalists' area.
Yorkshire Water is currently opening up areas for public access.
Predominantly woodland, the public currently have to follow dedicated
footpaths and Public Rights of Way when visiting. However by voluntarily
dedicating these areas as open access land, the company aims to
give walkers the freedom to roam freely wherever they want. One
of the seven areas it has identified as suitable for public access
is Washburn Valley Woods.
Some of the reservoirs are managed with birds in mind. At Eccup,
over the edge of our area, you can see Red Kites, one of the most
beautiful birds of prey in Europe. The individual reservoir pages
have access details and 'walk packs':
The company reports to three agencies which monitor its performance,
the Drinking Water Inspectorate, the Environment Agency and the
Office of Water Services. It has undertaken a monitoring programme
of fisheries, macro-invertebrates and macrophytes on the Rivers
Ure, Ouse and Wharfe.
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