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Carron Valley Reservoir

Situated at an altitude of 225 m (738 feet) to the east of the Campsie Fells and divided between Stirling and Falkirk Council Areas, the Carron Valley Reservoir lies on the course of the River Carron, 3 miles (5 km) north northwest of Kilsyth (North Lanarkshire) and 6 miles (10 km) west of Denny (Falkirk). The third-largest water-supply reservoir in Scotland, it is 3¼ miles (5.2 km) in length, averages a half-mile (1 km) in width, extends to 390 ha (970 acres) and has a capacity exceeding 20,400 million litres (4500 million gallons). It was officially opened on 14th July 1939 by John Colville (1894 - 1954), Secretary of State for Scotland. Built 1935-39, as a response to droughts in 1931 and 1933, together with an increasing demand for water for industry and domestic consumption, the reservoir is retained by two dams; the Randieford Dam at the west end and the Main Dam built across the Carron Valley at the eastern end of the reservoir. The Randieford Dam lies on the Central Watershed of Scotland, which divides the drainage of the River Carron (flowing east) from the Endrick Water (flowing west). The Endrick passes beneath the dam, with some of its water impounded at a weir upstream to supply the reservoir. The River Carron provides the other principal source of water. The Randieford Dam is an earthwork protected by stones, while the Main Dam comprises a masonry and concrete spillway lying between two earthwork embankments. Much of the land around the reservoir was subsequently planted with commercial coniferous forest by the Forestry Commission, now known as the Carron Valley Forest.

The original water level was raised by 0.5m (1.6 feet) in 1987 to increase its capacity. The reservoir is operated by Scottish Water and provides a popular recreational fishery based on wild brown trout, said to be the best in Central Scotland. Since 1989, the reservoir has provided a safeguard population for powan (Coregonus clupeoides), brought from Loch Lomond where they had become endangered.


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