Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

‘Friends’ fight to save Portavo reservoir

Portavo Preservation Group is appealing for more supporters of the beleaguered reservoir to come to its next meeting on Monday, August 22.



With more than 400 facebook friends already, group chairman Richard Moore, is confident that there are more reservoir users who can contribute to the work of the group.

He explained: “NI Water plans to put the reservoir on the open market in April 2012 but many of us who use the reservoir want it to remain in public ownership. It belongs to the public and we hope to keep it that way.

“The purpose of the meeting is to pull together the ideas and suggestions of those who want to save Portavo for future generations of anglers, walkers and environmentalists.

“In due course we will present NI Water with our proposals and indeed a small group of us is to have an initial meeting with officials of NI Water in September to start the process.”

Mr Moore said NI Water had informed him that safety work is to be carried out on the reservoir’s dam from January - June 2012.

He said: “The work requires the replacement of the bridge to the valve tower and refurbishment or replacement of the scour and draw off valves. I understand that it is still subject to approval by the NI Environment Agency and the Rivers Agency.

“This work requires the lake to be partially drained, but I have noticed already that water levels are dropping. With water bird nesting in full swing and many young on the reservoir, the Preservation Group is keen to ensure that wildlife is protected throughout the process.”

He thanked Councillor Andrew Muir and Lady Sylvia Hermon for helping to get Portavo Preservation Group off the ground.

“They have inspired us and given us the confidence to form the Group. We now have over 400 supporters on Facebook.”

To get involved email Richard Moore on moores.pinehill@btinternet.com