Aqualate Mere - Staffordshire  

Hidden from the outside world, this beautiful Nature Reserve holds the largest natural lake in the West Midlands. Surrounded by woodlands and fen meadows, the Mere is a great place to watch wildlife.

Aqualate Mere was formed by a glacier during the last ice age. It is over a mile long, but very shallow with an average depth of less than 1 meter. There is something for everyone to enjoy here. On the north and east there are Eskers - rare geological features that are left behind by glaciers. On the east side there is a bird hide (accessible by wheelchair from the car park) where you can watch the diverse range of species that occupy the habitat including ducks, heron and other wading birds, and even visiting osprey or barn owls. There are also plenty of mammals such as otters, stoats and bats. Ponies and cattle also graze in the surrounding fields.

If you are a keen cycler, you can get there from route 55, which passes 1.5km to the south side of the mere. Although the mere is on private land and much of it is not accessible, you can walk around the public right of way footpaths and bridleways that go across the north side and give a good view of the mere. There is a small car park off the A518.

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