SK0307 : Boardwalk and foreshore, Chasewater, northwest of Brownhills

taken 7 years ago, near to Norton East, Staffordshire, Great Britain

Boardwalk and foreshore, Chasewater, northwest of Brownhills
Boardwalk and foreshore, Chasewater, northwest of Brownhills
The short boardwalk allows a feeling of closer contact with the water and bird life. The recycled concrete slabs make an easy step down on to the beach of burnt colliery shale; they may even break the force of occasional waves.
Chasewater Country Park :: SK0505

Originally the reservoir was known as Norton Pool, which was then crossed by an ancient salt way or pack horse track. On the south east side the dam was constructed in 1797 to create a feeder reservoir for the Wyrley and Essington Canal system. It is still used for that purpose today and opens into the Anglesey branch canal beyond the dam wall. The causeway was built in the 1870s as part of the mineral railway construction, linking the surrounding coal mines to the canal system. The trains took coal down the eastern side of Chasewater to the sidings in the Anglesey canal basin, where the former coal loading wharf still remains.

The majority of the land you see on the north and west side of Chasewater developed as a result of reclamation schemes during the 1970s. Prior to that time the main path on the western side was a raised causeway much higher than the surrounding land. The low lying areas were filled in and then subsequently covered with topsoil, seeded and planted with trees.

North of the railway line the area known as Norton Bog was actively mined until the 1950s. On the skyline beyond, the remains of Bleak House open cast coal mine can just be seen, where mining ceased as recently as 2000. Both sites were left scarred with shale heaps which have been reclaimed into the rolling hills you see today. These areas are now part of a major heathland restoration project.

Jeffrey’s Swag, to the northwest of the casuseway, is a good bird refuge throughout the year. Birds to be spotted include coot, moorhen, mute swan, great crested grebe, mallard and goldeneye ducks. The Swag is important for nesting birds and it is vital this area remains undisturbed and that visitors stick to the paths alongside the railway and the embankment of the former railway line.

The lakeside plants, known as marginals, around Jeffrey’s Swag and the northern tip of the main reservoir provide nesting cover. These plants consist of yellow flag iris, amphibious bistort, bulrush and common club-rush.

Dragonflies and damselflies are frequently seen throughout the summer. Watch out for common darter, ruddy darter, common hawker, broad bodied chaser and the largest, the emperor dragonfly. Common blue damselfly, azure damselfly and blue-tailed damselfly can also be seen in good conditions.

Text of Lichfield District Council’s on-site interpretive sign.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Robin Stott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SK0307, 91 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 8 April, 2015   (more nearby)
Thursday, 16 April, 2015
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Paths  Park and Public Gardens  Lakes, Wetland, Bog  Suburb, Urban fringe 
Postcode Area (from Tags)
Near (from Tags)
Brownhills  Burntwood 
Place (from Tags)
Season (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 0373 0717 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:39.7342N 1:56.7772W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 0376 0715
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Swans  Country Park  Public Open Space 

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