Taking A Walk Around Scar House Reservoir | Making The Countryside Accessible For Everyone*.

Monday, 30 April 2018

We all love to get out and about to enjoy the great outdoors and having any kind of disability or having to take a pram out can cause problems, but Yorkshire Water - the second largest landowner in Yorkshire - is currently striving to enhance its access across some of the most scenic reservoirs in the UK, allowing all users to visit and experience these tranquil countryside spots. If you read my Fenetic Wellbeing post, you know I am passionate about everyone having the same access to enjoy the simple things in life, be that shopping in town, or getting out into the great outdoors. Which we all know is good for us! 

I have always loved walking in Yorkshire and have explored many places with my family, including Gordale Scar, Mallam Cove, Hawes, Pateley Bridge, Arncliffe, Buckden, Kettlewell, Swinsty to name but a few! Yorkshire has so many beautiful little villages and reservoirs to explore so it's wonderful to hear how Yorkshire Water are enhancing the local environment and improving access to scenic recreational locations for my whole family to be able to be involved in days out and not be left behind because of inadequate pavings or uneven surfaces. 

At 9,298 steps and 4 miles long, the circular walk around Scar House is one worth checking out with friends and family. During my walk here I came across lots of families with their dogs all out to enjoy the good(ish) weather and stretch their legs. Situated at the head of Nidderdale (which is yet another stunning part of the Yorkshire Dales), this often wild yet beautiful area can be explored using the circular route of Scar House Reservoir. It can be extended to include a more challenging walk around Angram Reservoir, both of which include a mix of tarmac roads, rough tracks and moorland paths with stiles, steps and steep climbs. As such, appropriate footwear and clothing is advised as the weather can change very quickly and being in Britain just because it's sunny when you set out you can be sure it'll be raining by the time you come back!!!

The surrounding Moorland is being restored by the Yorkshire Peat Partnership, a Yorkshire Water funded project. Peat holds the same amount of emissions as 100 years’ worth of fossil fuels and only grows at 1 mm per year. - The moorlands also support a wide range of birds like Curlew, Black Grouse and Hen Harriers, making them a crucial habitat in the UK. We certainly saw loads of newly fenced off areas filled with tree saplings at Scar House, this is part of the 1 million trees Yorkshire Water are planning to plant this year, I look forward to seeing them bloom! 

For this reason, a lot of the surrounding Moorland is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, meaning they are protected by legislation - The natural beauty is paralleled in the masonry of the embankment, which is not only vast at over one million tonnes of stone, but intricately designed. - To find the famous Little Whernside, stand on the embankment and look East across the reservoir. At the head of the reservoir is the domineering mountain standing at 605m tall.

As you can see from these pictures, the path on the right hand side of the reservoir is stony, uneven and definitely not suitable for anyone who has difficulty walking, has a stick, is in a wheelchair or children in a pram. It is fairly up and down and because it had been raining recently, the path was also wet and the surrounding grasses boggy, making for slippery walking conditions and puddles which had eroded some of the path. You had to keep an eye on where you were walking which took away from enjoying the stunning scenery that Scar House offers up.

The left hand side of the reservoir has a much better path, it has been tarmaced and is suitable for prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs. I do have to mention here that both ends of the path (just after the bridge on the walk itself and at the top from the car park end) is better than the middle part which is slightly less smooth and it may be bumpy under the wheels - this is more of an advisory note so that you're not caught unawares.

It is good that Yorkshire Water are improving access to all their reservoirs and I look forward to the day the path around the whole of Scar House Reservoir is properly maintained so everyone could enjoy it. But seriously, I would urge you to get out and about to visit this reservoir because it is stunning, just take into consideration some of the paths might be tricky to negotiate.

Prior to this trip I had never been to Scar House Reservoir so was blown away by the sheer scale and beauty of it. I always enjoy getting out and about in Yorkshire and experiencing what it has to offer, Scar House is definitely a place I would recommened to anyone visiting the area as it is simply stunning. If you're prepared for a bit of a walk with the undulating terrain, have suitable footwear and are prepared to dodge the free wandering sheep, then head on over and enjoy some of the best scenery Yorkshire has to offer!

Please see the map below for the detailed view. Note that the car park, although on a slight hill has disabled parking spots at the bottom which are on the flat giving easy access to the start of the walk and the Cabin which sells hot and cold drinks and snacks - perfect for warming up after a cold walk! There are no rubbish bins at Scar House as you are encouraged to take your litter home with you so please bear this in mind when planning your picnic. There are toilets here but at the time of writing the ladies were out of order but there are disabled toilets to use - please be aware that there are no bins here either, I'm not exactly sure how we're meant to get rid of our rubbish though?! Anyway it's good to have facilities here despite this.
I would love to go back to Scar House when the weather is better to enjoy it properly and be able to eat my picnic outside instead of in the car because of the cold wind! I do hope that you do go out and experience it because like I said, the scenery is simply stunning! 

Love, Sarah

*This post has been written in collaboration with Yorkshire Water.

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