25th Feb, 2020

Landmark reservoir on Malvern Hills in line for drastic changes

Craig Gibbons 27th Sep, 2017

A LANDMARK on the Malvern Hills could be set for dramatic changes if its owners Severn Trent Water have their own way.

The firm is hoping to partially or completely drain the British Camp reservoir on the east side of the Herefordshire Beacon.

Built to supply Malvern with water, the reservoir has not been used for several years.

Severn Trent wants to cut a notch at the bottom of the dam to allow the reservoir to be partially or completely drained.

If the reservoir is partially drained, the capacity will be reduced from 213,000 cubic meters to 8,000 cubic meters to leave a ‘residual pond’.

Regardless of whatever action Severn Trent take, the company says they will be introducing biodiversity enhancements as part of their plans.

Before any plans are officially submitted to Malvern Hills District Council, Severn Trent has applied to undertake an environmental impact assessment of the site which lies within the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The British Camp reservoir also falls under the jurisdiction of the Malvern Hills Trust but as the land is owned by Severn Trent, the site is under their sole management.

Beck Baker, conservation and communications officer at the trust, said: “No official plans have been submitted yet but we feel it is necessary for an EIA to be done given the importance and popularity of the location.

“The reservoir and surrounding land is under the ownership of Severn Trent so they can do whatever they feel is required and needed.”

A Severn Trent spokesperson added: “The reservoir has been out of use for many years and we’ve been maintaining it at a reduced level for safety reasons.

“We’re now looking to remove the disused buildings at the site and return the land to nature.

“As such we’ve made an application to the local council to discontinue the site as a reservoir.”

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