Leventhorpe Lagoon 1973

I’ve been making a start on archiving a collection of colour slides taken by Richard Brook (1943-2017), for many years the Conservation Officer of the Wakefield Naturalists’ Society. He photographed the East Ash Lagoon at Leventhorpe from the lagoon’s northwest corner on Sunday, 2 September, 1973. Pulverised fly ash was pumped from power stations into lagoons and left to settle out.

Richard could see the potential of these lagoons as nature reserves and he documented every one of them – along with subsidence flashes and sand quarries -within five or six miles radius of Wakefield, so his collection of slides form a unique record of post-industrial West Yorkshire.

Dust & Scratch Removal


I’m gradually learning my way around the slide scanning option of my SilverFast scanning program and also learning easier ways to remove specks of dust and other blemishes from the slides.

In Photoshop CS5, I’ve just discovered the Dust & Scratches filter, which is hidden away in the Photoshop Filter Menu under the heading Noise.


It’s a lot quicker than using the Spot Healing Brush to individually remove blemishes, although that has it’s part to play too: Dust & Scratch Filter for the whole sky, Spot Healing Brush for getting into more detailed parts of the image.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hello Richard,

    I hope these lagoons are flourishing wildlife areas now. I wish I could see them but don’t know when I will get to England again. Australia is so far away 🙁
    Thanks for the post. Sorry that Richard Brook has gone. He sounds like a true dedicated lover of nature, like you.

    Regards, Jane

    1. They certainly have been successful as wildlife habitats; in that stretch of the once derelict Aire Valley, they’ve had marsh harriers hunting, bitterns booming and spoonbills nesting. Even in his wildest dreams, I don’t think that Richard ever imagined the return of the spoonbill.
      He was such a fascinating character that I feel that I should write a one-man show based on his life. It’s only just over a year ago that he acted as DJ at the St Valentine’s Disco at the care home that he spent his final months in. The staff loved him, they’d never had anyone like Richard. A one-off!
      At the end of his funeral a friend from the Daffodil Society placed a couple of blooms on his coffin of a multi-flowered, red-edged, daffodil that Richard had bred. He was as innovative with daffodil breeding as he was with creative conservation.

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