Reservoir site to be transformed after lottery cash boost

Launching the new project The King and Miller to Kingfisher, which will transform King's Mill Reservoir, are: L to R: Paul Crawford, Coun Cheryl Butler, Coun David Griffiths, Chris Watkinson, Pam Hallam, Ray Hallam, Coun Alan Rhodes, Chris Warren, Andrew Cartwright.
Launching the new project The King and Miller to Kingfisher, which will transform King's Mill Reservoir, are: L to R: Paul Crawford, Coun Cheryl Butler, Coun David Griffiths, Chris Watkinson, Pam Hallam, Ray Hallam, Coun Alan Rhodes, Chris Warren, Andrew Cartwright.

Work on scheme to transform an historical Ashfield reservoir is set to start thanks to £121,000 lottery funding.

King’s Mill Reservoir will have a new visitor centre and tourist trail as well as much needed improvements if the King and Miller to Kingfisher project is fully realised.

Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council - together with partners - have secured £121,000 of support from National Lottery players to help preserve and promote King’s Mill Reservoir for future generations.

The existing visitor café will become a new visitor centre which will tell the story of the site’s history, boosting information and site access.

Work will be done to de-silt parts of the reservoir, improve access, signage and habitat and improve parking.

The scheme aims to connect residents of Ashfield and Mansfield with the 18th century industrial heritage at Kings Mill Reservoir through a new Maun Trail footpath and cycle route between the towns and the reservoir.

Ashfield District Councillor and Waste and Environment portfolio holder Councillor Tim Brown commented: “Securing this development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund shows the potential in our plans to improve the public open spaces and reconnect local people with local heritage. It is an exciting opportunity to develop our vision and to work with other partners towards these improvements to enhance and secure the diversity of activities.”

Councillor Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This funding represents a massive opportunity to secure an extremely exciting future for King’s Mill Reservoir and surrounding area. It will not only help to preserve the wildlife and heritage of this site, but also enhance the visitor experience.”

Councillor Liz Plant, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Mill Adventure Base will be at the centre of the proposed Maun Trail which gives the opportunity to further increase on its current outdoor and environmental educational offer to families and adult groups alongside its current work with school pupils and young people’s groups.”

Mansfield District Council Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Andrew Tristram, said: “We are very pleased to have received the lottery funding so that the partnership can work together to make improvements to our local area. We hope that by securing this development funding, areas such as Hermitage ponds and the Kings Mill viaduct can be brought up to scratch to add to the overall experience of this area and the Maun Valley Trail.”

Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council will also put funding in as part of the £497,000 project to boost the man-made, 72-acre reservoir and public open space. The development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable Ashfield District Council to complete the necessary site investigations, detailed design and obtain approvals to improve the public open space. A second stage Heritage Lottery Fund bid follows in early 2018.

The site was that of a former medieval mill – alluded to in the Doomsday Book, and is today home to a vibrant natural environment with the reservoir, owned by Ashfield District Council; and a café and the popular Mill Adventure Base, managed by Nottinghamshire County Council.

The Mill Adventure Base attracts around 10,000 young people each year to take part in a wide range of outdoor activities such as canoeing and kayaking, through the county council’s outdoor environmental education service.

The project is a collaboration between the Ashfield Mansfield and Nottinghamshire authorities and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.

The Wildlife Trust provides advice and knowledge of the project area and will provide guidance and support activities on site.