History

A brief history of the Meres and Mosses landscape

Wem Moss and Whixall Moss in the Meres and Mosses

 

 

  • 299 – 199 million years ago: a Saharan desert landscape with cyclical wet periods.

Today the Permo-Triassic Sandstones underlying the landscape stores groundwater as an underground reservoir. This groundwater resource helps to maintain water levels in the rivers, lakes and wetlands, supporting water dependent ecosystems, as well as providing public drinking water as part of the UK’s second largest aquifer.

 

  • 10,000 years ago - a glacial landscape dominated by ice sheets and meltwater rivers.

Much of the Meres and Mosses Landscape today is made up of a thick blanket of glacial drift that was deposited during the last glacial period over the top of the Permo-Triassic sandstones.

The retreating ice left a hummocky undulating landscape and gouged out basins known as ‘kettle holes’. The hollows and deep depressions subsequently filled with meltwater and rainwater and thus created many of the meres and mosses wetlands present today

 

Find out about the history of peat here


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95% of UK wetlands have vanished over the last 300 years due to drainage and pressures of land use


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