Wildlife

Chasewater was created in the late 18th century as a reservoir feed for the Wyrley and Essington Canal system. The remaining land was further molded through the years of coal mining that followed the construction of the reservoir. When coal mining ceased in the 1960's, the site became wasteland, with pitheads and workings from local coalmines.

The spoil mounds were re-shaped through extensive reclamation schemes. The grassland and heath areas surrounding the reservoir are now home to a variety of rare flora and fauna. For this reason, Chasewater Heaths was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1988, consisting of four main blocks, and the remaining land was declared a County Site of Biological Importance.

In September 2011, the SSSI was extended to include nearly the entire Country Park as part of a landscape-scale heathland network stretching from Hednesford to Brownhills. This means more of our rare heathland habitat is protected by law, so it must be managed to conserve its wildlife and habitats. The reservoir and canal are included in the SSSI for their value for water birds, rare plant species and invertebrates.

Thanks to funding from Natural England, Staffordshire County Council encourages the management and restoration of heathland and other habitats, including grazing some areas with cattle.

For more information on the latest wildlife sightings at Chasewater, see the Chasewater Wildlife Group website.