Why Baitings Reservoir is a popular spot for a Sunday stroll

Baitings Reservoir. Picture by Simon Hulme. Technical details: Nikon D3S, 1/400 sec at 5.6 ISL 100.
Baitings Reservoir. Picture by Simon Hulme. Technical details: Nikon D3S, 1/400 sec at 5.6 ISL 100.

The patchwork of greenery and woodland that frames the neighbouring Baitings and Ryburn reservoirs close to Ripponden makes them a popular spot for summer walks.

Though July and August have seen the Yorkshire region battered with thunderstorms, heavy rain and flooding, the picture here captures the beauty of Baitings and its surrounding scenery on a dry and pleasant day.

A view of Baitings Reservoir dam.

A view of Baitings Reservoir dam.

With views of the moors in the valley of the River Ryburn, the site attracts thousands of visitors during its peak tourist season each year and every summer it is covered by a Yorkshire Water and Calderdale Council ranger scheme.

The true stories of the Yorkshire dams that collapsed and killed hundreds of people

This year, there are two new faces out and about the area, helping to keep visitors safe and protect the natural landscape.

Their remit involves patrolling a number of moorland, woodland and reservoir sites across Calderdale to enforce water safety, keep routes clear and well signed and address issues such as anti-social behaviour, illegal camping, littering and starting fires.

A solitary figure walks  across the old road bridge at Baitings Reservoir.

A solitary figure walks across the old road bridge at Baitings Reservoir.

Back in 2016, Yorkshire Water, which operates the reservoir, also supported the Dogs Trust ‘Big Scoop’ campaign, in a move to try and curtail the problem of dog mess littering paths around the reservoir.

Twelve bridges washed away and paths destroyed: The true cost of the Yorkshire Dales flash flooding

There were reports of a giant mess pile, built out of soft toys of the faeces emoji, being created at the picturesque site to highlight the fouling issue.

The area has been a popular beauty and nature spot for many decades, even before the reservoirs were constructed.

Baitings is the higher of two, which were built to supply Wakefield with water, and was completed back in 1956.

Ministers must put flood risk at heart of reservoir policy before there is a dam disaster - Tom Richmond

In the past decade or so, it has attracted daring abseilers, who have taken on charity challenges to scale their way nearly 200ft down the wall of Baitings dam, raising money for organisations including the British heart Foundation, Kidney Research UK and The British Red Cross Society.

For those not quite as brave though, Baitings remains a hit with people of all ages, as a quintessential spot for a British Sunday stroll.