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Shakerley Mere Cheshire: article and photos

Shakerley Mere is situated in the heart of Cheshire between Knutsford and Middlewich. The M6 runs along the east side of the Mere, a former quarry for sand used to make coloured glass. When production ceased in the early sixties it was allowed to fill up with water. Despite its mundane origins, Shakerley Mere is a place with a special beauty and visual quality.

A wide expanse of water stretches out within the rough triangle of about half a mile on each side. The water's edge is ringed around with a curtain of trees. There are views through the gaps over the mere with its two tree-covered islands. There are points set aside for angling at the northern end of the mere.

Birds resident on Shakerley Mere include cormorants, black headed gulls, great crested grebes, heron, oystercatchers and kingfishers. There are also many insects and other wildlife to be seen.

There is a small area of heathland in the south east corner. Heathland once covered the landscape of Cheshire, but today only a small amount is left, including this area, set aside as a Site of Special Biological Importance. Monitoring and conservation work is carried out by the Countryside Management Service.

I have come to Shakerley Mere many times in the past and was always taken by its special atmosphere and picturesque quality.

The triangular walk around the mere is leisurely and presents captivating vistas at every turn. Many of Cheshire's meres, for example Rostherne, are off limits to casual visitors, but here you are free to enjoy the views and ambience whenever you like. As I walked back along the footpath, the sunset sky was silhouetted in the trees and reflected in the icy water. The rumble of traffic seemed to fall silent, and only the cackling of the geese and ducks could be heard coming from the far corner of the mere.

Shakerley Mere is definitely a place with that timeless 'Cheshire Dreams' quality. See my www.cheshire-dreams.com site and book idea.

Information in this article taken from the information boards at the mere. Shakerley Mere is cared for by Cheshire County Council. www.cheshire.gov.uk.

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2007-02-01

Aidan O'RourkeAidan O'Rourke has been active in photography and online media since 1995. He has documented the development of the local area in his Eyewitness website (1997-2005) and as a contributor to books, publications and the Manchester Evening News. He runs his Eyewitness photography walks in Manchester, Liverpool and other locations. He offers one-to-one tuition in Photography and Languages. He is a high-level speaker of German and can offer photography walks and tours through the medium of German. Visit www.aidan.co.uk

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