This is an archived press release
Thursday 6 October 2005
6 October 2005
Glorious mud after restoration of historic Taddington Mere
Villagers from schoolchildren to retirees have waded in to help restore a historic watering hole believed to date from medieval times.
Taddington and Priestcliffe Parish Council launched the restoration of Taddington High Mere with the aid of a £12,000 grant from the Local Heritage Initiative and support from the Peak District National Park Authority.
The mere - one of the highest natural water holes on a limestone plateau - is believed to have been used to water horses and mules on a packhorse route to Bakewell from medieval times, and farmers used it for cattle and sheep. Gradually, however, a fissure developed in the limestone bed, the water disappeared, and previous attempts to reinstate it failed.
The money enabled the villagers to dig out soil and clay from the base, lay a rubber butyl liner, then place soil back on top with a mechanical digger to provide a natural bed for pond plants.
Then, with the help of local ranger Bid Strachan, the children from Taddington Primary School scattered the banks with locally grown wild flower seed provided by the National Park Authority's Vision Project, and put in locally sourced native water plants.
National Park conservation awareness officer Louise Valantine said: "The children worked really hard all day and got a lot done, given the mere covers such a large area. They got covered in mud - but this only seemed to add to their enjoyment. This is an exciting project with so many groups within the local community involved."
The village history group is now researching the history of the mere with the help and guidance of officers of the National Park's Cultural Heritage Service.