Astbury Mere Country Park provides a number of different habitats for wildlife, such as woodland and areas of shrubs which are ideal for birds and small mammals. There are two distinct areas of grass; the shorter grass is cut on a regular basis through the growing season, while the longer grass is only cut once a year, so different wild flowers may be seen.
You may spot cowslips, ox eye daisies, tansy, agrimony and yarrow. This gives a very colourful area in Spring with the pink of the wild rose and the white of the blackthorn, and the distinctive white guelder rose which flowers from the outside in.
The Country Park has four kinds of orchid; the bee orchid, the southern marsh orchid, the common spotted orchid and the common twayblade. The banks of the mere are ablaze with yellow broom in may.
Painted Lady Butterfly.
Meadow Brown Butterfly.
The Park has plenty of butterflies in the warmer months of the year, such as the small tortoiseshell, the gatekeeper, meadow brown and painted lady.
The hedgerows are colourful, especially in Spring, when the bluebells are out. Gorse, broom, silverweed, silver birch and alder are pioneer plants, so are ideal for reclaiming land which has been disturbed by quarrying. Gorse for example, has nodules on its roots which help to fix nitrogen in the soil, so making it easier for other plants to establish themselves. The alder is also self pollinating, with katkins and female flowers (which look like purple cones) on the same tree. Ths area is great for insects, with spiders and several types of bee.
Ox Eye Daisies - see Mow Cop?
In addition to the many species of water birds on the mere, you can expect to find frogs, toads, and the smooth newt. Canada geese sweep onto the lake in Winter, and resident / regular visitors include coots, great crested grebe, black headed gulls and tufted ducks. No less than forty species of birds have been spotted in and around the mere.
Harris Hawk Ranger Al.
Common Buzzard, John Moorby.
Little Owl, Ranger Pete.
Swallow Ranger Martin.
Heron, Ranger Martin.
Willow Warbler, John Moorby.
Robin Ranger Martin.
The above images are just a small selection of the images taken over the years, many more are available on our Gallery Page. Several of our Rangers have contributed as have some Trustees, but we also have a few regular amateur photographers who give us images because they enjoy their hobby and using the Park.
The Trustees invite contributions from local photographers, so if you would like to help us, please submit any quality images to the Webmaster, who will add them at his discretion to this website, giving credit whenever possible if requested.