Reader's Letter: Finally, finally


Finally they have cut part of the jungle that surrounds the lake on Lindow Common!!

You can see the water!!

Today people were sat on benches in the sunshine and everyone I passed commented on how lovely it was to see the lake, the ducks, the heron.

When will Cheshire East realise how much people love the Common and how many people are sad at the dreadful state it is in!

There are too many parts that are fenced off, for no really good reason - amazingly birds nested safely for years!

So much is overgrown and out of control - maybe we need to set up a 'Friends of Lindow Common'.

Photo: Courtesy of Lee Calver (sent separately from the Reader's Letter).

Reader's Letter


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Sally Hoare
Monday 12th October 2015 at 9:30 am
You can go into the fenced off areas. There are gates and styles. The fences are only to prevent dogs disturbing the rare plants and ground nesting birds. I agree that we need to be able to see and enjoy the lake. I too love our common and think that it is generally well managed
Christopher Baker
Monday 12th October 2015 at 3:44 pm
I have generally found that when a view of the lake is blocked by vegetation from one site then one can walk further around the lake and get a view from another site. (Very small children may need to be lifted up, of course!)
The reeds grow quite high in the summer but they can attract warblers; you are often more likely to hear them than to see them. For those who appreciate the joys of nature there is a useful leaflet at
Tony Hughes
Tuesday 13th October 2015 at 9:50 pm
Hi Meryl. "They" are, or is, the Lindow Common ranger Paul, and his hard working volunteers. What Paul doesn't know about the Common isn't worth knowing. I have had the privilege of getting to know Paul over the last 3 or 4 years, and I can assure you that he wants to do only what is best for the wildlife and the visitors. But he has to tread a very fine line between conservation, and keeping the common a place where all are welcome to enjoy it's many delights.
The reason the lake is at times hard to see is because of the various flora and fauna that are breeding on the lake edge. Flora includes the reed beds and orchids, fauna includes dragonflies, voles and bird life. All these and more need not to be disturbed during their particular breeding times, so the window of opportunity for strimming and trimming is small.
The Heron. Yes, it's lovely to see. But will you say the same when the grebes have returned, hatched a brood of 3 or 4 young and the heron is on hand to eat them? Last year I saw a heron sitting on the grebes nest waiting for the young to return from exploring the lake. At certain times of year that chick killer needs to be scared away!
And I must dispute it being in a "dreadful state". It is, like all nature, in a constant state of change. If it were to be left to its own devices the common would be basically woodland. Silver birch would have taken over years ago. Over the last week Paul has been out with his volunteers reclaiming land back from this invading weed of a tree, and opened up another section to daylight, and eventually returning it to heather.
If you want to learn more about the common and the work it requires, Paul regularly does a walk and talk. It is a fascinating experience, and one I've enjoyed on more than one occasion. If you want to go on a future visit with Paul let me know via this page, or contact me by email. (I'm a local piano teacher, so do a Google search and you'll find my website with my contact details.)
And finally although there isn't a friends of the common group, there is the Lindow Common Advisory Group which is a mixture of Cheshire east and town councillors and "concerned residents" such as myself, and, of course, Paul the Ranger.
Patrick Prinsloo
Wednesday 14th October 2015 at 1:11 pm
The area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and should be respected as such - it's not meant to be a neat and tidy parkland. I believe the fences are also there to facilitate research and to allow parts to be reestablished to what they were before the hand of man interfered.
I would also observe that there are signs asking people to keep their dogs on a leash in order to protect the flora and fauna; a lot of dog owners seem to ignore that.
But I think we all agree that the Common is a lovely place to visit.
John Featherstone
Wednesday 14th October 2015 at 3:50 pm
what the common needs is a couple of dozen model boats on it like it used to be flying around as fast as they can it was all good fun petrol boats and electric boats great days and ice skating as well in the winter all gone because of some weed someone found that dosnt grow anywere else?????? perhaps you would all like to watch the heron eat the other chicks on there a every one to there own
Meryl Spencer
Wednesday 14th October 2015 at 6:17 pm
It is a sad day when flora and fauna are more important than people and well behaved dogs! Though I believe that getting rid of dogs is part of Cheshire Easts policy, I will never exercise my dog on a lead - pointless!!
I agree a fine balance has to be kept and have chatted with Paul many times, he's a good guy with not enough help to manage the Common. He's worked hard to re establish the heather heathland.
I didn't post the photo of a heron, that was added, I agree that they kill chicks but it wasn't around earlier in the year.
Having walked round the Common for 38 years I appreciate how things change, I also remember boats and skating, fishing and horse riding, bird watching and painting- how many of those activities can you do now??
Part of me feels that when the Common became an SSSI the importance shifted - flowers and water voles became more important than the people of Wilmslow.
Tony Hughes
Thursday 15th October 2015 at 10:26 am
I shall certainly put your point of view forward to the Advisory Group, Meryl. Although the site has been designated a SSSI which means the common and all its wildlife do enjoy protection by law.
As a member of the public, and not in my role as an Advisory Group member, I would say that people have been quite destructive to the planet as a whole. There are many who believe that saving areas of beauty and diversity is an important part of our human nature. We are the only creatures on this planet who have a highly developed social conscience, and the ability to change the course of natural events, so perhaps we need to be more selfless. It's not always about us.
To clarify regarding dogs. Dogs do not have to be on a lead, but they should be well behaved and under close control. We should all (including me and my dog) be careful regarding what we are doing with our dogs. Natural England, if it thought dog walkers and their dogs were abusing the common could step in and ban dogs entirely. As long as every dog owner controls and cleans up after their dog we can avoid that. Paul, our ranger, fully supports this approach.
Dogs are not permitted in the fenced off areas, but people are allowed in to but should remember to shut the gates after them.
John Featherstone
Thursday 15th October 2015 at 7:31 pm
i have lived in wilmslow since 1969 and was very friendly with mr and mrs hill who used to have the model shop next to billy magans, they lived on racecourse road in what used to be the racecourse pub many many years ago they lived in that house (converted racecourse pub) before the second world war and used to make balsa wood kits in part of the house that was originally the stables and told stories about horse racing round black lake (the common ) i myself in younger days used to sail model boats on there as well as my son and his friends in rubber dingys as well as fishing and ive even seen seaplanes take of from there ( model ones)lots of other people came from all over south manchester, then for some unknown reason the clay liner cracked and the water seeped out all gone it was left to the chairman of the fishing club to sort it out??? think ill finish there, by the way his name was alan a local decorator
Pete Taylor
Thursday 15th October 2015 at 8:05 pm
In the late 50s our Dads used to drive a group of us up from Didsbury to race model yachts; there was also a club who raced model hydroplanes.
In the 60s we cycled over to fish; never caught anything other than small perch. In those days the water really was black in the Black Lake.
The amount of dog poo there these days is astounding. So much for SSSI.
Vince Chadwick
Friday 6th November 2015 at 1:35 pm
Pete Taylor says:

"The amount of dog poo there these days is astounding. So much for SSSI."

I'd say "so much for responsible dog owners!". There may be some, but clearly the evidence on the ground is that they are vastly out-numbered by selfish irresponsible ones.

It's just one thing those trying to return the common to its natural state as an SSSI, an example of a fast-disappearing natural environment more rare and more threatened than the rain forest, have to cope with.