Partnership improves Sheffield and Rotherham habitat for wildlife and visitors

The wildlife conduit at Redmires reservoirs
Land and recreation


A partnership between Yorkshire Water, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust (SRWT) and Sheffield City Council is continuing to improve habitats in the area for endangered species and visitors alike.

Land near Yorkshire Water’s Redmires reservoirs is a haven for an historic water vole population, as well as many species of breeding and roosting birds, which rely on bodies of water, the shoreline and vegetation for nesting and feeding.

The partner organisations have been carrying out a programme of works over the last three years to improve the habitat for people and wildlife.

These include installing fencing to segregate people and dogs from the water vole population, while still allowing people to visit and spot the creatures in their natural habitat, cutting back encroaching scrub to improve the ground vegetation for the water voles.

SRWT has also carried out surveys in the area to see where the water voles are and where we should target to ensure the water voles survive for years to come. This included engaging with members of the public to carry out wildlife surveys, install signage and repairing dry stone walls.

Philip Tennyson, countryside and recreation coordinator at Yorkshire Water, said: “Working in partnership with Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has allowed us to engage with visitors at Redmires reservoirs and raise awareness of the wonderful wildlife that can be found there. Through simple but effective changes, we’re working towards a more biodiverse and resilient landscape. We ask that members of the public work with us to ensure the area is safeguarded for future generations to enjoy.

“This includes taking steps to protect wildlife by keeping dogs on leads. Water voles and ground-nesting birds are threatened by the presence of dogs and we ask visitors to Redmires Reservoirs to stick to the formal paths onsite and keep their dogs on leads at all times. Taking these simple steps will help protect the wildlife that depends on Redmires reservoirs and ensure these historic populations are preserved so they can be enjoyed long into the future.”

Work is also underway with Sheffield City Council to connect land management across ownership boundaries to further help water voles and wild birds find a home at Redmires reservoirs. This work is part of a wider lottery-funded Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership which has brought together 17 different organisations and led to 30,000 trees being planted and thousands of people engaging with the countryside on their doorstep.

Keith Tomkins, partnership programme manager at the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said: “Taking action for nature can be as easy as keeping your dog on a lead when visiting nature reserves. This simple action helps wildlife to thrive rather than just survive.”