The Ladybower Reservoirplugholes, the reservoirs overspill, are usually active between October and February when the water levels are at their peak. A photograph cannot convey all of the senses that one experiences when seeing these plugholes active. The noise is amazing, somehow like a waterfall amplified. Then there is the sense of danger, being sucked into the unknown. Add to this the view of one of the prettier areas of the Peak District National Park and you have a perfect location for some photography. I would recommend an early morning shoot at this location, when there is still some mist in the air and a chance of a sunrise. On a golden morning the sun light fills the plughole with colour something that is on my list of shots to get.
Ladybower Reservoir is a the lowest of 3 reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley. The waters of the River Derwent flow through Howden Reservoir, then Derwent, and eventually into Ladybower. Built between 1935 and 1943 to bolster the water supply to the East Midlands, the reservoir took two years to fill. Beneath the waters of Ladybower is the site of the village of Ashopton. The buildings, with the exception of the church, were demolished during the construction phase of the reservoir. The clock tower of the church was visible above the water line until it was eventually demolished due to safety fears.
The area is an amazing place to visit, with walking, cycling and fishing chief amongst the visitor activities. If you do visit the reservoirs I would recommend getting into the area early and taking advantage of the many free parking locations. There is also a very good visitors centre at Fairholmes with toilet facilities and a café (open all year round except Christmas day!).
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