“ Address: Doncaster Road / Thrybergh / Rotherham / South Yorkshire „
Thrybergh Country Park lies approximately 3 miles (5 Kilometres) to the north west of Rotherham town centre and about 9 miles (15 Kilometres) to the west of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. Covering an area of 47 acres, this is one of the largest country parks in the region.
At the centre of this park lies a reservoir, created in 1880 to supply water to Doncaster and the surrounding area. However throughout its history this reservoir never met the demands that were put on it, largely due to leakage from the reservoir floor. During the 1940's this reservoir was producing 490,000 gallons of water a day, but losing 100,000 gallons of this every day. By the 1960's it was only producing 350,000 gallons a day, but still losing 100,000 gallons every day, so it no longer became commercially viable.
In September 2000 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council purchased Thrybergh Reservoir from Yorkshire Water for the token price of £1 and set about turning it into the Country Park that it is today.
Thrybergh Country Park is now a haven for wildlife. Over 200 different species of birds have been recorded here and over 20 species of mammal have also been recorded.
The park is free to visit and there is a large car park at the edge of the water. This is where the majority of the Ducks, Geese, and Swans tend to congregate as many of the visitors feed them in this area.
There is a visitors centre and a cafe both next to the car park and bird food can be bought from the visitors centre. There is also a bird feeding station located next to the car park with bird tables and bags of nuts hanging from the trees.
The visitors centre has toilets, including ones with disabled access and there are baby changing facilities. The centre contains a wealth of information about the creation of the park and there are many books and leaflets available.
The cafe occupies a white, brick-built building at the opposite end of the car park, right on the edge of the water. It is appropriately called the Lakeside Cafe. There are a few tables and chairs outside but many more inside. Here a mug of tea costs just 90p and I can recommend their bacon & egg sandwiches which cost £1.55 each. Since the cafe is located right on the edge of the water the view from here is fantastic.
Over the years the Lakeside Cafe has built up a good reputation for the homemade food that it serves. I had yet to sample it but it looks and smells delicious, and it seems to be reasonably priced too.
From the car park there is a circular footpath that goes all around the perimeter of the reservoir. The top part of this path is however closed during the winter, between October and March. This is to minimise the disturbance to the wintering Ducks. In winter Thrybergh Reservoir is of national importance for its numbers of three species of Duck found here: Widgeon, Gadwall and Pintail. Along this top part of the Reservoir there are two wooden bird hides, but there is no access to these when this section of the footpath is closed.
The walk around the entire perimeter of the reservoir is just under 3 miles (5 Kilometres). From the Car Park the reservoir looks deceptively small since only around half of the water can be seen from this point.
The footpath around the reservoir is of good quality. It is nice and wide and flat and even during bad weather rarely gets very messy. This is a popular place for people to come in wheelchairs. Electric wheelchairs can be hired from the visitor's centre.
The Park lies in a lovely setting, nestled between open expanses of farmland. Walking around the reservoir it is easy to forget just how close you actually are to civilisation.
Water-sports take place on the reservoir and include both jet-skiing and wind-surfing. No swimming is allowed in the reservoir and no cycling is allowed on the footpaths either.
Fishing is also available, but this is only allowed between the end of March and the end of October. There is also a caravan and camp-site located within the park and this is open all year round. There is also a Children's Adventure Playground and a Barbecue area.
If you wish to visit Thrybergh Country Park by public transport then the X78 bus runs every 10 minutes and there is a stop directly outside the entrance to the park. The X78 runs between Doncaster and Rotherham. Entry is free.