Pilot scheme to help protect lives and the environment in South Yorkshire

Yorkshire Water warden Colin Winterburn at Agden Reservoir, Sheffield
Yorkshire Water warden Colin Winterburn at Agden Reservoir, Sheffield

NEW by-laws are to be introduced at South Yorkshire reservoirs to deter people from swimming - and to stop dog walkers leaving bags of dog mess in trees.

Yorkshire Water, which owns Rivelin, Agden and Underbank reservoirs in Sheffield and manages more than 72,000 acres of surrounding land at the popular beauty spots, said it wants the new laws to protect lives and the environment.

By-laws will also prohibit the consumption of alcohol, overnight camping, the lighting of fires and barbecues, dangerous driving, littering and fly-tipping.

A by-law will also be introduced prohibiting dog fouling and making it an offence for dog owners to hang bags of dog mess from the branches of trees rather than finding a bin.

Laws will also give the water company the power to prosecute and fine people who ignore warnings.

Offenders can be banned from Yorkshire Water land.

Police officers will carry out patrols to help enforce the new laws.

Yorkshire Water said there have been repeated instances where people have ignored ‘danger’ signs and gone into the reservoirs over summer.

Hazel Clemmit, recreation officer at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’ve spent millions opening up some of our stunning reservoir sites, which attract thousands of people every week who use them for their enjoyment, whether it be for exercise or simply to take advantage of some of the stunning views they offer.

“Sadly, despite our best efforts, the irresponsible be-haviour of a small minority can on occasion ruin it for the majority.

“We hope that these by-laws will encourage people to do the right thing and adhere to the rules, without us having to use them punitively.

“However, if and when we need to, people should be left in no doubt that we will enforce them in order to preserve our sites, protect water supplies and ensure the vast majority of people who are doing the right thing can continue to enjoy and make the most of them.”

Yorkshire Water is also planning on introducing the new by-laws at 10 sites across Yorkshire.