Swanholme Lakes Character Area (view detailed map) is made up of several lakes of different sizes. They were formed naturally when quarrying finished on the site in the 1960s. Around the lakes there are areas of heathland and woodland, as well as several paths. This provides a variety of spaces that are enclosed to differing degrees and have habitats at varying stages of development, for example woodland that is starting to re-grow after clearance. The sides of the lakes are mostly overgrown with vegetation, but there are occasional views through the undergrowth and across the lakes. In some places there is access directly to the water’s edge.
There is an interesting variety of habitats at Swanholme. For example, there is heathland at different stages of development including sandy heath, willow carr and sphagnum bog. The area is important ecologically because it supports a wide variety of aquatic and heath plants and wildlife, especially dragonflies, damselflies, birds and reptiles.
The current character of Swanholme Lakes is, as the name suggests, strongly influenced by the lakes as well as surrounding woodland and heath. In recent years it has been recognised as an area of ecological importance and paths have been provided to allow visitors easier access around the area for recreational and educational activities.
Earlier periods of development have left their mark on the landscape, particularly quarrying in the 1950s. Most of the lakes have been created in the former quarries and the remains of several structures that may have been associated with the industry can still be seen, as well as a spoil heap of larger stones.
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||Modern (1967 to Current day)
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