Winsford Flashes.

The Winsford Flashes are a series of lakes created by the collapse of old salt mines, the following information regarding these lakes was found on Wikepedia and is as follows :

photo by Gary Tacagni.

photo by Gary Tacagni.

The Winsford Flashes are the town’s most notable geographical feature. In referring to them as the “Cheshire Broads”, a comparison is made with the better-known Norfolk Broads. “Flash” is an English dialect word for “lake”, with a regional distribution centred on the north-west counties of Cheshire and Lancashire. The Winsford Flashes (Top Flash, Middle Flash, and Bottom Flash, the largest) are three lakes along the course of the River Weaver, extending over some 200 acres (80 hectares). They formed in the 19th century (cartographical evidence dates their formation to between 1845 and 1872), due to the subsidence of surface ground into underground voids. The voids were largely the result of brine extraction, in which rock salt deposits were dissolved and washed out by water. As the ground slumped into the voids, the River Weaver widened at each point, until lakes were made where arable land had once been. From the late 19th century, Winsford Flashes became popular with working class day-trippers from the nearby industrial centres of

photo by Gary Tacagni

photo by Gary Tacagni

Manchester and the Staffordshire Potteries. Visitors came in large numbers for a day’s leisure boating, picknicking, and sightseeing. However, the Winsford Flashes were never developed as a public amenity, and their popularity soon fell into decline. Today, they are primarily enjoyed by the local community, and are used for sailing (Winsford Sailing club is based on the 90 acre (35 hectare) Bottom Flash), fishing, and walking. They support a wide range of wildlife, with several species of migrant wildfowl, such as Canada geese, using them as an over-winter destination.

 

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