|Hatch Mere Nature Reserve|
Swimmers in Hatchmere
|Type||Nature reserve and SSSI|
|Location||Delamere Forest, Cheshire|
|Area||12.6 hectares (31 acres)|
|Operated by||Cheshire Wildlife Trust|
|Open||any reasonable time|
According to the SSSI citation "Hatch Mere is an example of a mere with moderate fertility and well developed floating and emergent vegetation. It is an unusual mere because of the surrounding vegetation which consists largely of acidic heath and bog communities." The mere is a good example of a kettle hole, of which there are several in the Delamere area. Some are flooded as here whilst others are dry or contain peat mosses. The mere originated as a detached mass of glacial ice melted in situ towards the end of the last ice age.
Notable animal species include the Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense, Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum and a rare caddisfly, Potomophylax rotundipennis. Rare plants for the area include Tufted Sedge Carex elata and Bog Myrtle Myrica gale.
There were several campaigns to maintain public access to the lake after it was bought by the Wildlife Trust in 1998. Initially the Trust fenced off the only access point to the lake suitable for swimmers. A pressure group, the Friends of Hatchmere, was formed, and eventually the Wildlife Trust backed down and agreed to allow swimming in the lake. The Hatchmere campaign was instrumental in the forming of the River and Lake Swimming Association, a group that promotes open water swimming in the United Kingdom. Angling is also permitted on the lake under the membership of Prince Albert Angling Society and anglers have purpose-built platforms where they have to fish from which each requires a key provided by the society. Fish present in the lake include Bream, Tench, Pike, Roach as well as some breeds of Carp.
- "Hatch Mere". Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- Northwich & Delamere Forest (Map). 1:25000. Explorer Series. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- "Hatch Mere: SSSI Citation" (PDF). Natural England. 1979. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- "History of the dispute". Friends of Hatchmere. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "River and Lake Swimming Association". Retrieved 4 July 2013.