The reservoir is located just off junction 28 of the M1, the easiest way to find it from any direction being to follow the National Heritage signs for the Midland Railway Centre. The postal code is DE5 3QZ.
Built by William Jessop around 1795, it is the largest of three built to service the Cromford Canal, the other two being Codnor Park and Butterley Park, the latter was dismantled in 1935. It was created by damming the Hartshay Brook and covers a surface area of around 50 acres, containing an estimated 283 million gallons of water.
In 1875 the Midland Railway took the Ambergate to Pye Bridge line west to east over the reservoir via a wooden viaduct that had 22 equal spans of 9.1mtrs. This was replaced around 1930 when LMS built the stone causeway that exists today.
It has changed somewhat over the years, none more so than during the last few years thanks to the efforts of the Angling Club and their maintenance team.
The reservoir is split in two by the Midland Railway that crosses it. It is effectively two venues. It will reward the anglers who put in the effort. In the summer months a walk to the shallow areas can be of benefit, in the colder months the deeper water pegs along the dam wall are more popular.
Ripley & District Angling Club
It was founded in 1898 at which time the adult membership was sixpence.
Butterley Reservoir has always been our prime venue. Memberships and day tickets are available for all age groups and persuasions.
Over recent years the club has invested in a wide range of improvements. Gone are the days when you needed ‘wellies’ to walk around the res. The mud has been replaced by stone paths.
Majority of the old concrete stands have been replaced by larger ones of PVC construction, the spacing’s being increased to better accommodate match situations. Many of the pegs have hard standing areas to accommodate the angler’s equipment and bivvies.
The angler’s car park is now lockable and a toilet facility is available.
The water has been restocked with bream, tench, carp and roach, many of these now showing increased weights due largely to the regular feeding programme.
The club organises regular carp and course angling matches, these are advertised on social media and the notice boards.