Yorkshire Water is one of the biggest landowners in the county with over 72,000 acres of reservoirs, water ways, moors and woodland in their care. From source to sea, Yorkshire Water ensure that we always have water, well, on tap.
And as part of Yorkshire Water's new Blueprint For Yorkshire, they are opening up the walks, the cycling routes and horse riding tracks that run across their sites, with free entry and free parking, for absolutely everyone to enjoy.
We were invited to try a family day out at Eccup Reservoir in Alwoodley, Leeds and given a camera to document our trip.....
Eccup reservoir is the biggest body of water in West Yorkshire. It could, on it's own, provide ALL the water for one whole TeenTwin shower, and that is a lot of water. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to a growing number of Red Kites. An elegant bird of prey who has survived the threat of extinction and recently begun to thrive in Eccup.
Now I like a good walk in the country as much as the next woman, as long as the next woman is Victoria Beckham in ten inch heels. So of all the reservoirs in all the county at our disposal (six in West Yorkshire alone), Eccup was one that we would be most likely to complete without the need for hospitalisation. The four and a half mile long walk, on a scale of One: Gentle stroll to Ten: Arrgh, not MORE hills, is One and a bit: Gentle strolling with the added distraction of nearby golfers.
But golfers and their ludicrous trousers aside, Eccup is a gentle slice of country life just a few miles from the busy centre of Leeds. The route winds its way in a rough circle through woodlands, the quaint village of Eccles and over a dam; the views and the trees, and the views of trees, are indeed glorious.
It was instead an educational afternoon, both The Man and I discovering we knew next to nothing about the inner workings of the water industry. Though I had a few facts and figures at my fingertips; Yorkshire Water work with their tenants to collect every last drop of rainwater as soon as it falls so we can take the water in our taps for granted. It's a huge operation, they supply an immense 1.24billion litres of drinking water everyday and also dispose of one billion litres of wastewater everyday.
"Where does the other .24 billion litres go?" The Tween asked curiously.
"Er.." I said and changed the subject, quickly, to the likelihood of seeing a Red Kite. But bird spotting is not my forte either and though birds were soaring we couldn't tell which ones were the Kites.We did spot a bird though and it was red, which was just as good.
As a no cost family day out, you couldn't do better that getting back to nature at one of Yorkshire Water reservoirs. To find out about all of Yorkshire Water's sites, facilities and the activities at each, check out the Yorkshire Water walks and leisure guide.
We're already planning another walk around Eccup, but next time I'm taking a Book of Birds. *swot face*