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Until it became polluted in the 1970s, Whitworth's water supply originally came from Cowm Reservoir. Up to then it had also been used to supplement Rochdale's supply. The former reservoir now provides water ski facilities for the able bodied and also for the BDWSA - British Disabled Water Skiers Association. It's popular with local walkers, dog walkers and runners. Tree planting schemes, (including a Life for a Life Memorial Forest at Cowm Reservoir) encourages birds and wildlife to the area. There is also a bridle path for the area's many horse riders.