Sitting on the Shropshire/ Staffordshire border just a few miles from Newport lies Aqualate Mere – a large glacial lake formed during the last ice age. For walkers, an area this beautiful is frustratingly off limits in terms of shoreline walking, but for birdwatchers, it’s something of a hidden gem !
A short stroll through delightful countryside, following the signs to the ‘Bird Hide’ will bring you to a small wooden cabin on the shores of the Mere. Complete with binoculars and a host of illustrated guides you’ll be treated to a truely unspoilt scene where birds come and go, unaffected by any human presence.
The mere is home to a large heron population, wintering wildfowl and even Ospreys. Kingfishers too a common sight – and I was reliably informed on my arrival at the cabin that I had just missed one that had settled just yards away.
There is a free car park, half or mile after Coley Bridge on the A518 from Newport to Stafford. Access to the ‘Hide’ is also free but please respect it during your visit and leave it as you found it for the enjoyment of others.