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Barnell Reservoir

Broadleaved woodland and ferns surround this redundant reservoir, an area rich in birds, bats and invertebrates

Habitats: Open water, broadleaved woodland and species rich grassland.

Notable species: Smooth-stalked sedge and bats.

Description: Barnell reservoir was constructed in the 1880's and supplied the water for Peel until the late 1940's.

Much of the reservoir banks are covered in predominantly broadleaved trees dominated by ash and elm with some Scots and hybrid pines, and European larch especially at the northern end. Gorse and bracken are present in parts.

Luxuriant ferns thrive in the damp conditions and primroses are a feature in the spring.

The reserve supports a whole web of life from aquatic invertebrates to birds and bats:

52 species of birds have been recorded and at least twenty species breed in the reserve. Pipistrelle, Whiskered and Daubenton's bats have been seen feeding on insects over the water.

Management: The woodland is generally unmanaged allowing nature to take its course and natural regeneration to proceed. Dead wood is left on site to benefit invertebrates.

The vegetation on the reservoir dam embankment is cut annually on late summer/early autumn to encourage a range of grassland and wetland plants and prevent scrub taking over.

The Trust has undertaken extensive remedial works on the site including constructing a new overflow channel in the dam wall to cope with heavy floods and undertaking a major project to clear much of the western bypass channel.

The reservoir: An upland stream feeds the reservoir and the maximum water depth is 20 feet. A fascinating feature of Barnell is the presence of a stone-built aquaduct, bypass channel and culvert, built to divert the stream so that the water level in the reservoir could be lowered. Unfortunately the aqueduct and mechanism to divert water onto the bypass channel are now in a very poor state of repair. A mine trail adit is present within the nature reserve.

Nearby nature reserves

Close e Quayle
0 miles - Manx Wildlife Trust
Curragh Feeagh
0 miles - Manx Wildlife Trust
Fell's Field
0 miles - Manx Wildlife Trust

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Reserve information

Please note:
This reserve is closed to the public
Map reference
SC 251811
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2.20 hectares

No access to this closed site
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Tricia Sayle, Reserves Officer
Tel: 01624 844432