|Primary inflows||inlet from Cheddar Yeo|
|Basin countries||United Kingdom|
|Surface area||105.4 ha (260 acres)|
|Site of Special Scientific Interest|
|Area of Search||Somerset|
|Area||105.4 hectares (1.054 km2; 0.407 sq mi)|
|Natural England website|
Cheddar Reservoir is an artificial reservoir in Somerset, England, operated by Bristol Water. Dating from the 1930s it has a capacity of 135 million gallons (614,000 cubic metres). The reservoir is supplied with water taken from the Cheddar Yeo river in Cheddar Gorge. The inlet grate for the 54 inches (1.4 m) water pipe that is used to transport the water can be seen immediately upstream from the sensory garden in Cheddar Gorge. It lies to the west of the village of Cheddar and south east of the town of Axbridge. Because of this it is sometimes known as Axbridge Reservoir. It is roughly circular in shape, and surrounded by large earth banks which are grazed by sheep.
The reservoir has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (Ref No:1003948) due to its wintering waterfowl populations. Two car parks give access to the reservoir; one is at the Axbridge end, and on the eastern side, accessible from Cheddar. Two water towers are present, one at the Cheddar end, and one at the Axbridge end. Bristol Corinthians sailing club is situated at its northern end. Other recreational activities at the reservoir include windsurfing, angling (for pike, tench, roach, perch and eels), and birdwatching.
Wildfowl present regularly in winter include mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (Anas strepera), tufted duck (Aythya fuligula), common pochard (Aythya ferina), Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope), common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) and goosander (Mergus merganser). A large flock of coot (Fulica atra) is present, and great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) is also numerous.
Proposals for a second reservoir
Bristol Water has long identified Cheddar as the site for a new reservoir. In 2007 it announced that the new reservoir would be one of the options considered in its Draft 2009 Water Resources Plan. The new reservoir would hold 6,000 million litres, roughly the same size as the existing reservoir, which it would be based alongside.
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- English Nature SSSI information for Cheddar Reservoir Archived May 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Ballance, David K. (2006-06-01). A History of the Birds of Somerset. Isabelline Books. ISBN 978-0-9552787-0-9.
- "Water Resources Plan" (PDF). Bristol Water. April 2004. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- "Strategic Environmental Assessment of Bristol Water's Draft Water Resources Plan — Scoping Report" (PDF). Entec. October 2007. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- "Cheddar reservoir surveying work begins". BBC. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
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- "Bristol Water scraps plans for new £100million reservoir". Bristol Live. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- MacMath, Jillian. "Plans to build new reservoir as part of Cheddar Two project won't go ahead, Bristol Water says". Somerset Live. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
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