Backford, Mollington & Lea Villages




The well kept pond at the back of Townfield Lane adjacent to Overwood Avenue

A haven for wild life

Pond excavation over the centuries created a valuable wetland mosaic over much of the North West especially here in Mollington and Backford.

Field ponds were once a vital feature of most farming systems throughout the area but since 1945, as modern agriculture has intensified, the economic need for these small bodies of freshwater has progressively declined.

This loss, together with the removal of other significant features such as hedgerow and woodland, has led, in particular, to an increasingly simplified agricultural landscape in which the protection of wildlife habitat and species has been overtaken by the unyeilding demand to maximise production.

Although the loss of farmland ponds has been fairly well documented, strategies for their conservation and management still remain elusive.



The well manicured

Angling Club pond at the top of Townfield Lane


Though ponds are small landscape features, where they are highly concentrated they can create a distinctive interdependant wetland patchwork of considerable diversity and richness. Apart from their attested wildlife value, they provide an important visual amenity and provide recreational opportunity.

For many years since their peak in the nineteenth century, the numbers of ponds have been falling, today only about one third remain. Many of these no longer contain much open water and many are overgrown by trees. Do we value and look after our local ponds?

The pond half way up Townfield Lane >>>in need of some attention !


“I noticed on the section about "Ponds" that there is no reference to the ponds created as a result of digging for clay. I understand that there was a local brickworks in Grove Road at one time and certainly the string of ponds to the west of Grove Road seem to support this suggestion. The other historical feature that I consider deserves mention are the sand-drift pits. Sand was extracted by digging into the hillside and carting the sand away in horse drawn wagons. I believe the Village Hall stands in one such drift. I know of two more on the land to the south east of Demage Lane, owned I think, by Malcolm Sibson and farmed by Mike Cheers.
I also think the superb and extensive work by Malcolm Sibson to plant vast numbers of trees and create a new pond, thus encouraging flora and fauna deserves mention. “

Roger Manley
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Still a mess !!