A LAKELAND reservoir that supplied drinking water for almost 100 years is to be returned to its natural state.

Engineers are gearing up to remove Hayeswater’s dam to restore it as a mountain tarn.

The reservoir, near Glenridding, has been declared surplus to requirements by its owner United Utilities. It has not be used as a public drinking supply for almost ten years.

Engineers plan to start lowering its water level towards the end of May, ready for a four-month restoration scheme, starting in June.

A public exhibition about the work is being held from noon to 7pm on Monday, at Glenridding Public Hall, so people can find out more, and ask questions.

The £700,000 project will include the removal of the 106-year-old concrete and stone weir dam, recreating the flow of the original tarn’s natural river outflow into Hayeswater Gill, and a new footbridge along the route of a public footpath.

Project manager Tony Elliott said: “Hayeswater is also very difficult to get to.

“Removing the weir dam will allow wildlife, like eels, to migrate in and out of the restored tarn, which will be about two metres lower than the reservoir is at the moment. Our work shouldn’t really cause any major disruption, although walkers on High Street will get a great bird’s eye view of the construction work and may wonder what’s happening for a short while.”