Cannock Chase - Mist

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Chris Lakin on August 17, 2008

Cannock Chase (grid reference SK000165) is a mixed area of countryside in the county of Staffordshire, England. The area has been designated as the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Chase gives its name to the Cannock Chase local government district.

Cannock Chase is located between Cannock, Lichfield, Rugeley and Stafford. It comprises a mixture of natural deciduous woodland, coniferous plantations, open heathland and the remains of early industry, such as coal mining. Despite being relatively small in area, the chase provides a remarkable range of landscape and wildlife, including a herd of around 800 fallow deer. The landscape owes much to the underlying Triassic bunter formations. Efforts are currently underway to increase the amount of heathland on the chase, reintroducing shrubs such as heather in some areas where bracken and birch forest have crowded out most other plants.

The Chase is home to a number of less-common and endangered birds, not least migrant Nightjars. A feeding station at the Marquis Drive Visitors' Centre, sponsored by the West Midland Bird Club, attracts many species, including Brambling, Yellowhammer and Bullfinch.

There are a number of visitor centres, museums and waymarked paths, such as the Heart of England Way. Additionally, there are many unmarked public paths. On the chase's north-eastern edge can be found Shugborough Hall, ancestral home of The Earls of Lichfield. At its southern edge are the remains of Castle Ring, an Iron Age hill fort.

The Chase is home to several memorials, including German and Commonwealth war cemeteries, and a memorial to the victims of the Katyn Massacre and was unveiled by Stefan Staniszewski whose father, Hillary Zygmunt Staniszewski (a high court judge), died in the massacre. Mr Staniszewski unfortunately passed away in May 2008. Preserved below the Katyn memorial are phials of soil from both Warsaw and the Katyn forest.

Cannock Chase was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on 16 September 1958 and is the smallest area so designated in mainland Britain, covering 68 km² (26 square miles). It also lies on the Heart of England Way.

The Chase is popular with cross-country mountain bike users. The recently opened purpose-built XC ‘Follow the Dog’ trail (supported by Gary Fisher) is an 11 km (7 mile) technically challenging route, starting and finishing at the Birches Valley Visitors/Cycle Centre. It is open to all, however it is not recommended for beginners.

In an interview given in March 2008, paranormal investigator Lionel Fanthorpe claimed he was looking into alleged werewolf sightings in the area[1].

Since 2006, the forest has been used as an open air music venue as part of the Forestry Commission nationwide Forest Tour, with acts such as The Zutons, The Feeling, Status Quo and Jools Holland playing in a forest clearing.

Dariusz Bielecki on January 12, 2010

Beautiful mystery!!Very good shot Greetings from Polish live in Stafford

Annette Strauch on May 19, 2010

Like this one, too. Cofion cynnes o Fachynlleth, Annette :-)

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 17, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Chris Lakin
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
    • Taken on 2007/02/04 10:53:01
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 6.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.500
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash