Ladybower Reservoir's overflowing 'plug holes' attract photographers

By Amy Woodfield
BBC News

Image source, Lee Gibson
Image caption,
The plug holes are technically known as shaft spillways

Photographers have been flocking to see "plug holes" dramatically overflowing at a reservoir in the Derbyshire Peak District.

The two holes - technically known as shaft spillways - are designed to regulate water levels when Ladybower Reservoir becomes full.

Image source, @peaklass
Image caption,
The plug holes only overflow like this when the reservoir is at high capacity

The excess water flows away into the River Derwent downstream.

The high water levels are most likely down to the recent wet and snowy weather in the surrounding hills.

Image source, Phoebe Cajote Wood
Image caption,
Severn Trent said the best place to view the plug holes was from the trail that runs across the Ladybower Dam

One of the many photographers to capture the spectacle was Peaklass - an avid Instagrammer based in the Peak District.

She said: "They're running over at the moment because of the high levels in the reservoir, possibly because of the snowmelt and also the wet weather we've been having. They don't do it very often."

Image source, paulofthepeak
Image caption,
Water that goes down the plug holes is carried to the River Derwent

Photographer Lee Gibson, from Lincolnshire said: "Howden and Derwent dams are overflowing at the moment.

"I think they've had a lot of snowfall over the last couple of weeks which has slowly filled it up. Perfectly normal for this time of year."

Image source, Phoebe Cajote Wood
Image caption,
At times of high capacity, water can be seen flowing over the Derwent Reservoir dam wall

The most recent data available from Severn Trent shows water storage levels at Ladybower Reservoir are at about 27,500 mega litres, which is 98.8% of its maximum capacity.

A spokesman for Severn Trent has said many visitors come to see the plug holes overflowing each year but warned that they should be viewed safely.

"We'd like to remind our visitors that the Ladybower plug holes are part of the working reservoir system, so the best place view them is from the trail which runs across the Ladybower Dam," he said.

"This is best accessed from the Heatherdene car park."

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