Arlington Reservoir lies to the south of the village, along the course of the Cuckmere River and to the north of the Eastbourne to Lewes railway line. Covering some 245 acres, the Reservoir provides water to neighbouring towns and villages and is also a nature reserve. It is a popular spot for ‘twitchers’ who can view over 170 species of birds – including herons, kingfishers, woodpeckers, reed warblers and even Ospreys – from the bird hide.
Built in the 1960’s, the natural course of the Cuckmere was diverted to form the current reservoir and at the time local residents and naturalists catalogued progress of the construction (The Arlington Village Hall Committee hold a photographic record of this). The River Cuckmere, which previously meandered to the middle of the present-day reservoir, is now channelled in a straight line to the east.
The path that circumnavigates the reservoir is partly paved and partly on grassy tracks and provides a lovely walk. The car park is situated to the north of Berwick Station for leisure users.
The reservoir has been a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1985 and for wildlife enthusiasts, walkers and fishermen. In fact, it offers some of the best trout fishing in the South East and has a well-deserved reputation for excellent fly fishing from its banks or by boat.
Full details of all facilities can be found at www.southeastwater.co.uk
Arlington Reservoir is one of two reservoirs maintained by South East Water – the other is at Ardingly. Together they supply about 8% of the water used by 2.1 million people in Sussex.
Arlington reservoir is filled with water pumped from the River Cuckmere when river flows are high. The water is then stored in the reservoir before being treated and distributed to consumers.
During the Reservoir’s excavation, several animal remains were found, including a mammoth tusk and the skull of a woolly rhino dating back 250,000 years. Some Roman remains were also unearthed (www.bestsussex.co.uk).
Did you know?
South East Water is planning to add a new reservoir next to the current one. The company has been carrying out feasibility and environmental studies which should be completed by 2018. The new reservoir could hold 3,900 million gallons of water to supply East Sussex – the equivalent of 275,000 baths (we would be a very clean area…!) However, the project will not be completed before 2036.