Rostherne Mere National Nature Reserve



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Rostherne NNR is the largest and deepest of the Cheshire meres, with the original basin deepened by salt subsidence. The reserve is of primary importance for its wintering wildfowl populations, particularly pochard. Mallard, teal, pintail and shoveler are also regular visitors and in winter ruddy duck, gadwall and goosander often visit the site. The surrounding reed beds support a large breeding population of reed warblers and the rare, booming bittern is also a regular visitor during the winter months. Birds of the surrounding woods include all three native woodpecker species together with tawny owl, sparrowhawk and kestrel. The scrub areas provide a home to summer migrants, such as reed bunting, willow warblers and whitethroat. After being absent for many years, the otter has returned, and the reserve also supports a population of harvest mice, which are rare in Cheshire. Insect species at Rostherne include a number of butterfly species, most notably the white-letter hairstreak, purple hairstreak and common blue.

Rostherne Mere National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Cheshire

Nestled between the Welsh hills and Derbyshire Peaks, the Cheshire plains make an ideal location to take things slow and mess around in boats. Cheshire has more than 200 miles (302 km) of man-made waterways, more than any other county in England. The Cheshire Ring is formed from the Rochdale, Ashton, Peak Forest, Macclesfield, Trent and Mersey and Bridgewater canals. This route takes you through a lot of Cheshire, and bits of other counties as well.

While exploring the county’s waterways, covering ground on foot or admiring the typical white plaster and black timber-frame houses, make sure to have a taste of Cheshire’s most famous produce. Although Cheddar has become Britain’s most popular cheese (accounting for over half of the cheese sales in the UK), it was once Cheshire cheese that was in every workman’s pocket back in the 18th century. Its moist, crumbly texture and slightly salty taste mean it goes well with fruit, peppers or tomatoes. As well as the usual white, there are also red and blue veined varieties.

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