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The Cheshire Region Essay

870 words - 3 pages

The Cheshire region is a low lying plain between the Pennines and the Welsh uplands

the western and northern boundaries extend out to the Irish Sea . The mid-cheshire

ridge divides the county into an eastern and western lowland. 10,000 years ago the

landsacape was coverd by sheets of ice these ice sheets retreated northward leaving

expanses of clay and sand. After the glaciers retreated vegetation became established

and was collonised by by mosses and liverworts on the mineral rich surface. This

vegetation was followed by a diversity of herbs , grasses and sedges.. By 3000 BC

climate conditions improved and soil became nutrient rich and a full decidious forest

covered the landscape with oak, elm, alder and lime. During this Neolithic period

there is little evidence to suggest human distubance to thie area as man was

predomantly a hunter.

At Lindow moss an area in cheshire which is a SSSI there are records by radiocarbon

dating back to 3,000 BC, of human activity disturbing this landcape this was localised

until 450 BC where at Lindow moss the pollen of wheat and barley is associated with

major forest clearence. Along side human interferences, climatic change also

accounted for the development of the extensive peatlands in the country, during cool

wet periods. Much of the colonisation of open moorland and lowland raised bogs

occurred in the Iron Age when the earlier forests in these locations were encroached

upon by water-holding mosses. Substantial erosion in this period, attributed to both

forest clearence and high rainfall. Reduction in woodland continued throughout the

Roman period 45 BC.

Agriculturally Cheshire is now primarily a dairy farming area as the soil concentrated

with clay and sand are more suited to pasture than the plough. The unimproved

grasslands in cheshire have become valuable agricultuaral land, these grasslands are

made up of many different grass species with a great variety of herbaceous flowering

species , knapweed bugle, ox-eye daisy, pignut, mouse-ear, cats-ear and yarrow.

However cheshire since 1939 has lost 99% of unimproved grassland due to ploughing

and re-seeding and the use of herbicides and artificial fertiliser. Agricultural

landowners now have these areas classed as Sites of biological interest/SBIs. There

are currently over 600 of these SBIs in the region.

Ordnance survey Maps of the cheshire region show that in the 1870’s there were

nearly 42,000 ponds. A survey by the pond life project (1995 – 1999 ) found 16,782

ponds indicating over 60% had dissapeared in the last 120 years. These ponds are of

importance due to them being “Marl Pits” as these ponds are known, as being


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