Sandbach Flashes

Link to Sandbach Flashes SECOS web site.
Click link to download pdf file of Sandbach Flashes map.

Although there are 14 separate flashes comprising the area known as Sandbach Flashes most of the birding interest is concentrated on just two of those, Elton Hall Flash and Pump House Flash. Maw Green Landfill site is usually also included in the area since it is an important site with no clear boundary with the flashes so far as birds are concerned. Most of the flashes were formed in the 1920s due to subsidence caused by wild brine pumping for the salt industry.

All of the flashes are on private land but adequate viewing is possible from roads and public footpaths. For Elton Hall Flash park carefully at the side of the road in Clay Lane at SJ725596. Cross the road carefully - it is becoming a busy road - and view safely from the viewing platform, looking across the salt pan (telescope essential) and at Elton Hall Flash, now becoming increasingly populated with willow trees. An alternative view is possible from the side road leading to the railway line. A 200 metre walk along Clay Lane gives good views over Pump House Flash and the adjacent fields, a good loafing site for gulls. Maw Green Landfill site is best approached from Groby Road. Park on the road side at SJ713574, cross the road, go over the stile and follow the footpath signs.

As regards the species present, almost anything is possible but the 147 species recorded in the flashes area in 2008 included 24 species of wildfowl, 20 species of waders and 12 species of gulls including Ring-billed, Caspian and Yellow-legged.

Colin Lythgoe
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