Exposed ruins of Ladybower reservoir's lost villages lure sightseers into sticky situation

Sightseers hoping to get a closer look at the lost villages beneath Ladybower reservoir have been warned of the dangers after a number had to be rescued.

Monday, 5th November 2018, 11:26 am
Updated Monday, 5th November 2018, 11:28 am
Ladybower reservoir, where the remains of two flooded villages have resurfaced (pic: Edale Mountain Rescue Team)

Low water levels at the beauty spot in Hope Valley near Sheffield have exposed the ruins of the villages of Ashopton and Derwent, which were flooded in 1943 to create the reservoir.

People have visited in their droves to catch a glimpse of this rare sight but some have tried to get a little too close, risking their safety by venturing onto the reservoir bed.

Ladybower reservoir, where the remains of two flooded villages have resurfaced (pic: Edale Mountain Rescue Team)

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The Edale Mountain Team revealed it was called on Saturday afternoon, just after midday, to rescue a man who became stuck in the mud there.

Specialist equipment and 30 minutes of digging were required to extricate him and restore him to solid land.

The team warned the mud is '˜extremely' thick in places and said he was not the only walker to come a cropper in recent days.

The rescue team at the scene (pic: Edale Mountain Rescue Team)

Writing on its Facebook page, members said: 'We are aware that the low water levels in the reservoirs has received quite a large amount of publicity but this was just the most recent in a number of similar incidents this week and would urge people to view the ruins from the safety of solid ground.'

The team said the man's partner, who was particularly worried for his safety given the cold weather, had raised the alarm on Saturday.

It said firefighters were also called but were stood down en route after the man was freed.

One of the team involved in the rescue at Ladybower reservoir (pic: Edale Mountain Rescue Team)

The remnants of a church, abandoned houses and other buildings were consigned to a watery grave when Ladybower reservoir was created.

The remains of another lost village hidden beneath the neighbouring Derwent reservoir have also resurfaced in recent months.

What is left of the Ouzelden Bridge, once used by residents of Birchinlee Village, has been exposed by the receding water there.

Birchinlee, which was built to house navvies building the dams there, became known as Tin Town due to the distinctive makeshift buildings '“ including its own church, school and police and fire stations '“ which sprang up there.