|Primary inflows||River Nidd|
|Primary outflows||River Nidd|
|Basin countries||United Kingdom|
Gouthwaite's sole purpose is a compensation reservoir for the River Nidd, i.e. it maintains the downstream flow of the river during periods of lower rainfall.
The reservoir was constructed between 1893 and 1901. The Elizabethan manor house of Gouthwaite Hall, the ancient home of the Yorke family, was submerged beneath the reservoir. Gouthwaite White Hall was rebuilt beside the reservoir with materials from the old hall, and is now a Grade II listed building.
Gouthwaite Reservoir is a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The reservoir is owned by Yorkshire Water which has created three viewing areas for bird watchers on the edge of the reservoir. Tree and shrub cover along the shoreline provides a habitat for small birds such as Willow Warbler and Blackcap. Other records include woodland specialists like Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch. Green Woodpecker has also been recorded.
In winter, after the summer migrants have gone, the reservoir margins are good for Fieldfares and Redwings. On the reservoir itself, Canada Geese are always present and are joined during the autumn and winter by Goosanders and Goldeneye accompanied by Mallard, Tufted Duck and Pochard. Whooper swans from Iceland frequently join them.
Winter is also a good time for birds of prey with Buzzard, Red Kite, Hen Harriers, Merlins and Kestrels being observed around the reservoir and the surrounding moorland. Ospreys and Golden Eagles are frequently observed on passage.
It is also the reservoir featured on the opening credits of the UK Soap drama, Emmerdale.
Media related to Gouthwaite Reservoir at Wikimedia Commons