Northern bay of Grafham Water
|Managing agency||Anglian Water|
|Max. length||4.3 kilometres (2.7 mi)|
|Max. width||2.35 kilometres (1.46 mi)|
|Surface area||6.28 square kilometres (1,550 acres)|
|Water volume||57.8×106 m3 (2.04×109 cu ft)|
|References||SSSI Ref 1002739|
Grafham Water (TL 150 680) is a reservoir with a circumference of about 10 miles (16 km). It is located between the villages of Grafham and Perry in the English county of Cambridgeshire (Huntingdonshire District). Grafham Water is the eighth largest reservoir in England by volume and the third largest by area at 1,550 acres (6.28 km²).
The lake was created by filling a valley full of water which is retained by an earth and concrete dam built in 1965 and is extracted and processed at an adjacent Anglian Water treatment plant before being piped away as drinking water.
The water level can be controlled constantly via the pumps which pump water from the River Great Ouse nearby. There are two pumping stations associated with the reservoir. One is located just behind the dam, the other at Offord Cluny alongside the River Great Ouse. At times of high potential flood risk, Grafham Water treatment works can increase the amount of water it takes up to maximum capacity (330 Million litres a day...if it's not already at maximum capacity) to help reduce the risk of flooding along the river.
The reservoir was immediately colonised by wildlife and a nature reserve surrounding the western side of the reservoir was soon created to help maintain and enhance the site's potential. The nature reserve contains semi-natural ancient (at least 400 years old) woodlands and more recent plantation woodlands, grasslands and wetland habitats such as reedbeds, willow and open water. As of January 2011, it was the only site in England, and the first in the UK, to harbour the invasive killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus).
Grafham Water is popular for a range of leisure activities including boating, fly fishing and cycling.
- Wildlife Trust: Grafham Water
- Nick Bingham, Andrew Blowers, Christopher Belshaw (2003). Contested Environments. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-470-85000-0.
- "Alien 'killer' shrimp found in UK". BBC News. September 9, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
- "Invasive shrimp found at Grafham Water". Environment Agency. September 9, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
Media related to Grafham Water at Wikimedia Commons