Oakdale lies a mile or so south of Osmotherley. The long distance footpath, The Cleveland Way, goes down this path in the foreground and to the right of the reservoir in the distance. But if you last walked this route more than two years ago you may not recognise it for the reservoir has been substantially reduced in size. Yorkshire Water have spent £1.3m decommissioning it by removing the dam wall and landscaping leaving a small pond that will be managed for wildlife.

There were originally two reservoirs in Oakdale. The lower one was built in the late 19th century to supply water to Northallerton and district. Its water level was reduced in the 1990s and is now too a wildlife pond. The upper reservoir must have been built much later in the 1950s as it’s not shown on the OS Six-inch map published 1952. The photo was taken just above a spring known as Jenny Brewster’s Spring but who Jenny Brewster was I have no idea.


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