Rutland Water is a man-made reservoir created in the 1970s by the construction of a clay dam in the Gwash Valley, near Oakham, Rutland, to store water for supply to major towns in the East Midlands region of England. The village of Nether Hambleton and most of Middle Hambleton were lost to the development and submerged by water.
Originally called Empingham Reservoir and renamed in 1976, it is partially fed from its natural catchment, including the River Gwash, but most of the reservoir’s water is abstracted and pumped from the River Nene at Wansford, Cambridgeshire, and the River Welland near Stamford, Lincolnshire. With a surface area of 12.6 square kilometres (or 4.86 square miles) when full, Rutland Water is the largest man-made reservoir by area in the UK.
Rutland Water is open to the public for sailing, watersports, swimming, fishing, cycling and trail walking, and has become an important nature reserve for overwintering wildfowl and breeding ospreys.