Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Staying safe around open water

Three Shires Head

The Peak District is home to an array of operational reservoirs, lakes, pools, waterfalls, rivers and small streams. We advise that visitors do not enter water at any time in the National Park unless as part of a supervised, organised event or activity. Water safety lifeguards or patrols are not present in the open countryside in the Peak District, unless specified below.


Swimming is not permitted in any reservoir in the Peak District. These are operational areas of water and may be deep, have unseen currents, variable temperatures or equipment present that is not visible.


Many local rivers have stretches that are privately-owned, have fishing rights or are designated for the protection of wildlife. Swimming or other water-based activities (such as canoeing, kayaking, inflatables or SUP) are not permitted unless expressly shown with on-site signage and in designated areas.

Look out for blue-green algae

Blue-green algae is a naturally forming type of algae that can occur in bodies of water. These bodies of water can be lakes, ponds, canals, rivers and reservoirs around the world and it can cause a health risk to both humans and animals. In humans it may cause skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever or muscle pain however is can be fatal for animals including dogs and is often found along the shoreline.

The Enviroment Agency have weekly updates on blue-green algae but visitors should also take notice of any signs warning of blooms at specific locations. Ensuring your dog is under close control can help minimise the chance of contact with blue green algae.

Safety and in an emergency

"If a person or an animal/pet gets into trouble in the water, never enter the water to attempt to rescue them. Call 999 and ask for the Fire Service."

Safety advice and what to do when you see someone in difficulty in the water can be found here from the RNLI...

Seasonal Marshals

Yorkshire Water (YW) will deploy a marshal service to specified sites for 7 days a week from 7/7/2021 to 7/9/2021 inclusive covering the hours of 05:00 to 23:00

The following sites will have a marshal permanently based on site

  1. Agden
  2. Dale Dike
  3. Mixenden
  4. Snailsden
  5. Ponden

These will be supported by two mobile patrols; these patrols will additionally call in to the following sites:

  1. Royd Moor
  2. Rivelin/Redmires
  3. Baitings/Ryburn
  4. Digley
  5. Whitley
  6. Ramsden Wood

YW gives advice regarding behaviours when in the countryside and on its reservoir sites at the following locations:

The sites covered and the duration of the service will be under constant review and locations may change based upon where the issues are being encountered.

Last updated: July 2021

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