Rostherne Mere, the most northerly of the Cheshire meres, is also the deepest, one of the biggest, the best researched and arguably the most beautiful. This book tells the story of this much-loved but largely secret nature reserve. It does so through a highly informative text liberally illustrated with historic photos, paintings, postcards, poems, drawings and original artwork.
It is a story of people as well as wildlife and science: about those who have trespassed, ﬁshed, skated, painted, protested, parachuted, worked, researched and birdwatched on and around its extensive waters. In a text written by leading experts, wardens, observers and researchers, you can read about the mass protest of 1909, the training of parachutists in the 1940s, the bequest of Lord Egerton which led to the National Nature Reserve of 1961, and the wildlife recording and scientiﬁc research that has been carried out here over more than a hundred years.
Throughout the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century, the famous Cheshire naturalists Thomas Coward and Arnold Boyd wrote about their visits to the Mere in their Country Diary columns for The (Manchester) Guardian; this volume brings the story right up to date, in an account which has much to interest and enthral the general reader, student and scientist alike.
"[...] These twin publications represent a huge achievement – a marshalling of a vast archive of information and its presentation in a highly attractive product. At their best, such local books can be important documents, not just a valuable source of scientific data but also a real celebration of place. In the hands of this team of authors and editors, these twin volumes succeed in being both."
– Andy Stoddart, British Birds 113, May 2020
"[...] Rostherne Mere, in Cheshire, is the largest, deepest and most northerly of Cheshire’s meres (natural lakes formed in the hollows left by the Ice Age). It is also one of the most thoroughly researched lakes in Britain, and probably the world. [...] The story, then, is ‘both a celebration and a lament’. If you want to know about the problems and successes of managing freshwater habitats in lowland England, Tom and Gisele Wall provide an honest object lesson. The scientific chapters, though written by experts, are fully accessible. One of them is about the lake’s unique landlocked population of the Smelt, known about since the seventeenth century, although none has been reliably seen since the 1920s. [...] Tom and Gisele have done us all proud in editing and publishing both volumes to such a high standard."
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 31(5), June 2020