Many thanks to Wimbleball Sailing Club for facilitating this camera's location and to the South West Lakes Trust & Westcountry Rivers Trust
for capitally funding its installation. Wimbleball Lake has been nominated to be the first Dark Skies Discovery Site on Exmoor. Exmoor National Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve, the first place in Europe to achieve this prestigious award and only the second in the world. Wimbleball Lake, located on Exmoor in Somerset, England, is a reservoir designed for water supply purposes. Construction of the reservoir took place in the 1970s and was completed in 1979. The dam, standing at a height of 161 feet (49 m), is constructed using concrete buttresses and serves to impound the River Haddeo, creating a water storage capacity of approximately 21,000 megalitres across an area of 374 acres (1.51 km2). To achieve a harmonious blend with the local geology, the dam was constructed using aggregate sourced from a quarry in Bampton and sand from Uffculme, resulting in a distinctive pinkish hue.The river system includes various tributary valleys, such as the River Pulham, which passes through the village of Brompton Regis and continues to Hartford where it joins the River Haddeo. During periods of low flow in the River Exe, water is released from the reservoir into the river for downstream abstraction in Tiverton and Exeter. The impact of this regulated water flow from the lake has been studied by comparing the regulated River Haddeo with the neighboring unregulated River Pulham. The study revealed that impoundment and regulation have primarily influenced the water temperature, eliminating freezing conditions, reducing summer maximum values, delaying the annual cycle, and minimizing diurnal fluctuation.In 2001-2002, South West Water commissioned a comprehensive assessment of the fish population, physical habitat, flow, and water quality data within the River Haddeo. This study aimed to identify potential bottlenecks that may impede the development of juvenile salmon populations, considering the regulated releases from Wimbleball Reservoir.Wimbleball Lake is managed by the charity South West Lakes Trust and offers a wide range of recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy walking, camping, birdwatching, angling, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, and kayaking. In December 2005, the trust secured funding for a £1 million project, which included the construction of a new rowing store, conversion of barn space into showers and changing areas, provision of new sports equipment, an accessible bird hide, and improved access and signage throughout the site. Additionally, a new £1 million activity center was opened in 2006.Wimbleball Sailing Club, a non-profit family sailing club, operates at the lake and offers training, cruising, and racing opportunities for its members. The club holds activities every Sunday throughout the year and on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during the summer season. The club also hosts a Sailability group, which provides sailing opportunities for individuals with disabilities.At the southern end of the lake, the tower of the Old Church of St James in Upton overlooks the picturesque scenery, adding to the charm of the area.
The Activity Centre is open for tuition in various watersports activities including sailing, windsurfing and Stand up paddle boarding. Visitors can also launch their own craft or hire from the centre. Wimbleball is also a premier trout fishery offering angling from the banks and boats. There are often tuition days for beginners and improvers, and further details are posted on our fishing pages. Permits are available on site and boats can be booked in advance.