Pathway improvements at Cod Beck reservoir

We have recently improved sections of the walking route at Cod Beck reservoir for visitors who head there to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Cod Beck reservoir is located in the North York Moors National Park near to the village of Osmotherley. It’s a popular leisure destination for ramblers, dog walkers, bird watchers and with day trippers who picnic there in the summer.

The path on the west side of the reservoir runs through a wood and we have thinned the coniferous trees to allow the remaining trees more space to grow, to support the development of a diverse woodland with young trees and broadleaves being present. The thinning will also let more light through the tree canopy and onto the path giving a better walking experience and views across the reservoir.

Opening up the ground and allowing more light into the wood will also allow other trees, shrubs and ground flora to establish themselves.

Our woodland management programme is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council which promotes responsible forestry and meets the highest environmental and social standards.

The timber from the felled trees is being entered into the timber trade and used within the construction industry and some for biomass energy.

Long sections of the walking route have been improved with a fine aggregate topping to make a smoother and flatter surface. The slope of the path is gentler than before and sections have been widened to improve access. This compliments path works undertaken along the other shore a few years ago.

The walk around the reservoir incorporates privately owned land and National Trust land and in order to enjoy this circular walk around the whole reservoir visitors must be able to cross some stepping stones over the beck.

Geoff Lomas, Recreation and Catchment Manager said ‘We welcome visitors and we’re continually trying to deliver our promise to our customers to protect and improve the water environment. We want to improve the experience visitors have when they visit our land and the paths are now in great shape ready for the rest of summer and autumn when we tend to see visitor numbers increase dramatically.”

An invitation to visit Cod Beck must include a warning that the reservoir has claimed the lives of people taking a swim to cool down on a summer’s day.

Reservoirs may seem like a good place to take a swim or cool down but this couldn't be further from the truth. When fatalities occur - and they do across the UK each year - it's often the temperature which is the most significant factor.

Reservoirs are deep and the water doesn't flow like in rivers or the sea so the temperature rarely rises much above 12C. It really doesn't matter how well a person can swim as it's the cold which paralyses muscles, meaning the victim is unable to stay afloat and if help doesn't arrive within seconds, they will drown. Strong currents also lurk beneath the surface of often calm looking waters as water is drawn off into the supply network.

Geoff added, “By all means come along and enjoy the lovely scenery around our reservoirs but please stay safe and keep out of the water. Please pay attention to the signs warning visitors about the dangers.”