“ Address: Ulley / Rotherham / South Yorkshire / England / Telephone: 01709 850353 „
Ulley reservoir lies approximately 10 miles (16 Km) to the east of Sheffield in South Yorkshire. This reservoir and its surrounding area of woodland opened as a country park in 1986 although the reservoir itself was created during the 1870's to provide a fresh supply of drinking water to Rotherham. By the early 1980's Ulley Reservoir was no longer providing water for Rotherham and so it was sold by Yorkshire Water to Rotherham Borough Council for the token sum of £1, with the purpose of creating the Country Park that we see today. Ulley Country Park now covers an area of around 33 acres.
This is an area that I know very well. As a child I use
d to play around here and in those days it was the only local reservoir where sailing took place. It is still the home of the Ulley Sailing Club but nowadays the newer Rother Valley Country Park has overtook it in popularity and that is now the premier sailing and watersports facility in the county.
Nevertheless Ulley Country Park is still a popular destination for hikers, birdwatchers, anglers and picnickers. Its location close to the M1 motorway and at the side of A618, one of the main routes between Sheffield and Rotherham makes it very easily accessible.
This Country Park is an incredibly tranquil place, despite its location so close to a busy road. It derives its name from Ulley village, which is nearby. This place name has a wonderful origin and is derived from the old Anglo-Saxon word 'Olleie' which means "a forest-glade with owls".
There is a good sized car park that is well sign-posted off the A618, but this can get quite full at busy times. Adjacent to the car park there is a visitors centre with toilets and a small café providing light refreshments.
There is a good quality, circular footpath that goes all the way around the reservoir. Since this is flat it is suitable for both standard wheelchairs and the motorised versions. This walk is just over 2 miles (3.5Km) long.
Ulley Country Park is a haven for wildlife and there are many rare plants and insects that thrive here. It is perhaps best known however for its birdlife. During the breeding season there are breeding Mute Swan, Canada and Greylag Goose, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard and Kingfisher. The nearby woods hold a large Heronry, where about 50 pairs of Grey Herons nest and there are also Buzzards and in recent years Red Kites.
Last year however this park's very existence was severely threatened. On the 25th June 2007 Ulley reservoir made the national headlines of the news when following several days of torrential rain and floods the dam wall began to show signs of cracking and water was seen to start seeping through these gaps. This created a major panic since several thousand homes were in the flood path if the wall burst and in an unprecedented move all of these houses were evacuated and a large section of M1 motorway was closed.
Engineers and firemen worked through the night to try and make it safe and thousands of tonnes of water were pumped out of the reservoir to lower the water level to enable the wall to be repaired. It is only now many months after this event that the park is more or less restored back to its former glory.
Ulley Country Park and its reservoir makes an excellent day out and access is completely free, making it the perfect place to bring the kids when the weather is fine.
Ulley Country Park
Telephone - 01709 365332
Email ulley.country firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the British countryside and the diversity of plants and animals in a pleasant environment.