Saturday, 27 June 2015

Delamere Forest

Woodland cover in the UK is now only around 3 million hectares, equivalent to 13% of the total land area. The public forest estate makes up almost 30% of total forest area. Delamere is an example of what was.

Delamere Forest or Delamere Forest Park is a large wood near the town of Frodsham in Cheshire, England. The woodland, which is managed by the Forestry Commission, covers an area of 972 hectares (2,400 acres) making it the largest area of woodland in the county. It contains a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees.

Delamere, which means "forest of the lakes", is all that remains of the great Forests of Mara and Mondrem which covered over 60 square miles (160 km2) of this part of Cheshire. Established in the late 11th century, they were the hunting forests of the Norman Earls of Chester. Order was maintained under forest law. However this governance limited the agricultural potential of the area for centuries. It was not until ownership passed to The Crown in 1812 that the ancient ordnances were abolished. In 1924 the woodland came under the control of the Forestry Commission.

The area also includes Old Pale hill, the high point of the northern mass of the Mid Cheshire Ridge, and Blakemere Moss, a lake around 1 km in length. Black Lake, a rare example of quaking bog or schwingmoor, has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and forms part of an international Ramsar site; Linmer Moss has also been designated an SSSI for its fenland habitat. The white-faced darter, a species of dragonfly rare in the UK, and marsh fern and white sedge, wetland plants that are rare in Cheshire, are found here.

A popular recreational area, Delamere Forest is used by walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers and horse riders. The forest is also a venue for outdoor concerts.

We have some amazing woodland but for many reasons including population density we are nothing compared to elsewhere in Europe. However like Europe and unlike the rest of the world our woodlands are now expanding again.

Source: Woodland Trust and Wikipedia


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