Major works are reshaping the visitor experience at Kings Mill Reservoir.
Ashfield District Council and partners including Nottinghamshire County Council and Mansfield District Council secured funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for improvements across King's Mill Reservoir, The Lawn and Hermitage Ponds.
The key improvements are centred on enhancing and connecting people with local heritage. The open spaces along the river corridor retain the story of the Mill Industries which was once the hub of activity in the area.
Restoration works on the Kings Mill historic viaduct have now been complete thanks to £232k from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The viaduct is the oldest of its kind in England, having opened in 1819. The works have provided better access between Mansfield and Ashfield and created a viewing platform over the Hermitage ponds.
Dredging work at Kings Mill Reservoir commenced in October and is due to be completed in March. The work includes the formation of sediment breaks which will assist in the natural formation of reed-bed islands at the main inlet forming new habitat.
Improvement works at the site’s heritage centre café are now close to completion, having started in November 2019. The refurbishment of the existing café provides panoramic views across the reservoir and has also created space to display a snapshot of local heritage.
Ashfield District and Nottinghamshire County Councillor Samantha Deakin said: “I’m extremely proud of the work that is being done at Kings Mill Reservoir. The Mill Waters project would not be possible without National Lottery Players and it’s bringing a vast amount of improvements to the site all the way through to Sutton Lawn.
“I’m sure that this will be a turning point in Ashfield’s visitor economy, as well as benefitting wildlife and activity participation.”
Footpath and access improvements will commence in the spring and will be completed by June. This includes the expansion of the car park to accommodate growing visitor numbers. Later in the year new trees will be planted to improve the habitat, which will also begin to establish a small woodland trail.
The Mill Waters Project Ranger has been recruited and started work in September 2019. Based at the Mill Adventure Base she is leading volunteering and community activities for the project.
The Love Exploring app is now available at Sutton Lawn and Kings Mill Reservoir, providing interactive games and trail activities. You can download the app from the App Store for Google Play.
More information is now available on the all new Mill Waters website: www.millwaters.org.uk. The website provides an overview of the National Lottery Heritage project, a window into the sites’ local heritage and information on volunteer opportunities.