Lake and reservoir restrictions hit watersports and walkers

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The Independent Online

Dozens of Britain's lakes and reservoirs, along with surrounding land, have been quietly closed to visitors, barring the thousands of sailors, birdwatchers and walkers who regularly make use of them.

Dozens of Britain's lakes and reservoirs, along with surrounding land, have been quietly closed to visitors, barring the thousands of sailors, birdwatchers and walkers who regularly make use of them.

Water companies have received hundreds of complaints from people who live on access roads usually treated as public highways. They have now been cut off, unable to receive post.

Yesterday the companies insisted they were only complying with government guidelines in keeping their land and water off limits. "We have been affected by proximity to foot and mouth, and this is why we have had to be careful," said a spokesman for Northumbrian Water, who insisted the company was keen to get the visitors back.

"It's been terrible. Because almost all of our reservoirs are completely off-limits to the usual crowds of visitors at the moment, we have suffered a dreadful shortage of income."

NORTH-WEST: Most of the land and reservoirs owned and managed by United Utilities in the North-west remain off-limits. The Longdendale Trail in the Peak District remains closed, as does the Macclesfield Forest. In the Lake District, the Thirlmere estate, Wythburn and Haweswater estate are closed, as is Rivington estate near Bolton.

NORTH-EAST: Most of Northumberland's reservoirs are closed to visitors, with only Kielder Water offering a range of activities, although fishing is banned. Some of the larger closed reservoirs include: Fontburn, Northumberland; Derwent, near Consett, Durham; Whittledeane in the Tyne Valley and Grassholme, Teesdale.

YORKSHIRE: Restrictions remain at most of Yorkshire Water's reservoirs, although bird-watchers can now visit Tophill Low Nature reserve, Driffield. Blackmoorfoot reservoir, Kirklees, has reopened. Brow Moor, Haworth has opened its footpaths and Langsett Reservoir, near Barnsley, is now accessible.

MIDLANDS: Severn Trent Water has closed a number of its reservoirs. Footpaths have been closed at Shustoke, Warwickshire, and sailing banned. Walking and fishing at Staunton Harold, Derbyshire, are prohibited.

EAST ANGLIA: Reservoirs managed by Anglian Water are in various states of closure. Hambleton Peninsula on Rutland Water is open, but the lake is closed. Most watersports have been halted at Ardleigh, near Colchester, though sailing and angling are permitted. In Cambridgeshire, the nature reserve at Grafham reservoir is closed.

SOUTH-EAST: South East Water's two reservoirs, Arlington and Ardingly Dam, are accessible to anglers, but all footpaths around them are closed. In contrast Southern Water reservoirs have been open throughout the crisis, although some surrounding footpaths have been restricted.

SOUTH-WEST: Sixteen lakes managed by the South West Lakes Trust are still affected by access bans and restrictions. Seven lakes on Dartmoor are completely closed, as is Tamar Lake on Exmoor. Access to Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor, is restricted to picnics. Only "limited activities" are allowed at upper Tamar Lake, near Bude.

SCOTLAND: Only one of East of Scotland Water's 60 reservoirs, Carron Valley, is open. The West of Scotland Water Authority operates about 50, but only three are open. In Angus, Blackwater Reservoir is closed. Nearby Loch Lintathen is open.

WALES: Restrictions remain on many of the reservoirs owned and run by Welsh Water. The Elan Valley complex is closed. Lyn Aled reservoir is closed, and Alwen Reservoir is open for fly fishing only. Llyn Alaw, Anglesey is partly open. Dolwen and Plas Uchaf remain closed.

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