ALMOST everyone who visits Grimwith Reservoir leaves with a smile on their face, a survey has revealed.

Yorkshire Water - which owns the Dales reservoir, near Hebden - asked 117 visitors about their experience, and a resounding 97 per cent said they were 'totally satisfied'.

Only a very few raised issues about a lack of dog waste bins at the site, and asked for more benches, to sit and enjoy the view.

The vast majority enjoyed the peace and quiet, the circular walk around the reservoir and being able to watch the activities of the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.

The company owns 115 reservoirs and woodland sites across the county, and is the second largest landowner in Yorkshire.

It wanted to know what people thought about Grimwith in order for it to be effectively managed to meet visitor's recreational expectations.

And it seems, most went to enjoy the circular stroll around the reservoir, to walk a dog, or two, to admire the scenery and make the most of the peace and quiet.

Yorkshire Water estimates around two million people every year visit its reservoirs, woodland and moorland sites - such as Embsay, Thruscross and Swinsty.

And they have steadily become more and more popular as a place to 'get away from it all' since first being opened up to the public, following the privatisation of the water sector in 1989.

The survey also revealed that most visitors were 65 years old, or more, and that just six per cent took their children with them.

Geoff Lomas, recreation manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “These findings reveal that Grimwith reservoir is an excellent day trip destination in addition to its primary purpose to supply drinking water to Yorkshire residents."

Another key finding was that nearly a fifth of visitors spent up to £25 with nearby businesses as a result of their visit, highlighting the ‘ripple effect’ contribution to the local economy the reservoir creates.

“In recent times, we’ve made a lot of effort to carefully manage Grimwith so that it remains unspoilt and supports native fauna and wildlife and have recently improved the pathways to cater for wheel chair users," added Mr Lomas.

"While this feedback is fantastic we are always looking to make improvements. We will look to implement some of the practical ideas our customers have suggested while recognising the customer feedback and that the scenery, peace and quiet are key factors attracting visits to this location.”

Not everyone was entirely happy with their Grimwith experience, however. The handful who registered 'dissatisfaction' complained about there not being enough benches to sit on around the reservoir, and not enough dog-poo bins, to dispose of waste.

Mr Lomas also reminded dog owners to be responsible and clear up after their pets when walking around the reservoir - and also to keep them on leads.

“We know that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dogs and dispose of the poo bags correctly. However, we would like to politely remind all dog owners to pick up and bin responsibly any dog mess and also keep their dogs on a lead. This will help ensure that all our visitors have a pleasant experience.”

Yorkshire Water manages the collection, treatment and distribution of water, supplying around 1.24 billion litres of drinking water to more than five million people every day.

It employs around 2,500 people and has a network of more than 700 treatment works, 130 reservoirs, and 62,000 miles of mains to transport the water around the county.

Between now and 2020, it says it will put £3.8 million back into the local economy.