Saturday, 12 February 2011

Cheshire......................the pond capital of Europe

Great Budworth from Budworth Mere
Budworth Pool
Oulton Mill Pool
Oulton Mill Pool
Shakerley Mere
I live in the beautiful county of Cheshire and we are blessed with many Meres (lakes) and ponds so I don't have to travel very far to see waders and other waterfowl.
Whilst some of Cheshire's meres have originated as a result of subsidence in the area of the underlying salt beds (this is believed to be a factor in the origin of such important sites as Rostherne Mere, Wybunbury Moss and Oakmere), many of the basins were formed as 'kettle holes'.
Such sites were created when ice blocks from the retreating ice face were buried in the glacial outwash of clays and sand some 10,000 years ago.
Some of the meres, such as Hatch Mere, Budworth Mere, Combermere, Tabley Mere, Barmere, Quoisley Mere and Chapel Mere at Cholmondeley, receive nutrient-rich water and have remained open with fen margins.
The county of Cheshire has the densest pond landscape in lowland Britain and probably has no equivalent elsewhere in northwestern Europe. The principle reason for this is the underlying clay, known as ‘marl’. When spread on agricultural land marl reduces acidity and increases fertility, so marl was a valuable resource in historical times before chemical fertilisers were widely available, and the practice of digging and spreading marl was widespread.
The pits the marl were dug from filled with water and became ponds.
Agricultural activity and extraction of sand and clay for bricks have created a sequence of field ponds or marl pits in the region, which is estimated at 25% of the total in England and Wales.


Dave said...

We live in a very diverse county Andrew. I am fortunate to live on the edge of the Peak District here in East Cheshire, but I sometimes envy those living on the West side close to the wonderful Wirral shorelines, of course I guess your slap bang in the middle of both there in mid Cheshire. My father worked the Winsford Salt mines when we lived there many years ago.

Nice topic and info you posted Andrew and I am ashamed to say that I havent visited any of the sites you mention :(


theconstantwalker said...

It's a small world Dave. In the 1970's I used to work for a firm that supplied replacement hydraulic hoses for the machinery used in the Salt Mine. I have travelled 600ft underground many times and it really is an amazing place to visit just to see the sheer size of the place

grammie g said...

Hi Andrew...thanks for the trip around your county and the information and history,for sure this the only way I could afford the trip lol !!
You should have been a histroy teacher "Mr.F"
The photo of the Swans with those drips of water of there bills is beautiful!! Very nice!!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hello Andrew, I stopped in for a visit from Grammie G's blog and the scenery is so lovely, it makes me want to take a trip. How fortunate you are to see all this beauty on your ramblings.

joo said...

You live in a great place indeed!Love this post, especially the first and the last photo.
Have a nice afternoon!

leschornmom said...

Wow! I love how you not only put up such wonderful pictures, but give interesting information with them as well.
I have to say that I have never thought of England as a beautiful place, but your photos have proven me wrong.

Gary said...

Andrew, a grand tour of your area. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

theconstantwalker said...

Thanks for all your lovely comments about my home county Cheshire.
Cheshire boasts that it has more millionaires residing here than any other county in England. Believe me they have chosen a beautiful place to live.

Johnny Nutcase said...

looks like a really nice place, and some great habitats for birds!

TexWisGirl said...

the waters are really beautiful. what a great place to reside. :)