Groby Pool is situated on the southern
edge of the Charnwood Forest and is reputedly the largest natural
expanse of open water in Leicestershire, covering 38 acres (15
ha). Groby Pool and the surrounding area are of great ecological
importance and contain a wide range of plants and animals.
In recognition of this, the area was
notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1956.
The Pool is owned by Hanson Quarry Products
Europe Limited (Hanson) and is managed on advice from English
Nature, the Government agency that helps to conserve Englands
wildlife and natural features.
Although Groby village is noted in the Domesday Book, there is
no mention of a lake. The earliest recorded reference is an "Inquisition
Post Mortem" dated 1297, which refers to two pools in Groby,
one of which must have been Groby Pool. In fact there is evidence
of a mill associated with Groby Pool in every century thereafter,
the last being a saw mill located in Sheet Hedges Wood which
closed in the early 20th century.
In fact, considerable debate has arisen
about whether it should be regarded as a 'natural' or man-made
lake, however, it cannot be disputed that Groby Pool has been
the site of a lake for many centuries.
Groby Pool lies in a hollow in the Mercia
Mudstone, underlain by Swithland Slate, with its eastern boundary
separated from the Sheet hedges Syenite by the Copt Oak fault.
The presence of 'granite' has led to the assumption that it has
formed a 'natural' dam, which might account for the origin of
the Lake. Whilst it is true that embankments have been constructed
on the 'granite' base along with Sluice gates to make a more
viable millpond, it is doubtful whether the granite alone would
retain a lake.
There is a record of the old embankments
being raised in 1889, when it was part of the Countess of Stamford's
estate, to prevent recurrent flooding of the adjacent quarries.
This had the effect of artificially raising the water to is present
Research into the Lake sediments has
confirmed that Groby Pool is of relatively recent origin. It
may have resulted from the damming of Slate Brook in the 12th/13th
century by the monks from Leicester abbey. One theory is that
it dates back to Roman times perhaps a clay pit for Roman pottery?
Hanson allows access to the roadside banks, adjacent to the Newtown
Linford/Groby Road. Previous owners of the Pool House, Groby
Pool and the surrounding grounds have retained the secluded nature
of the area by allowing only limited access. Please help to protect
this site by staying within the access areas shown on the map.
ANIMALS AND PLANTS
The complex plant and animal communities make Groby Pool one
of the most significant wildlife areas in Leicestershire. Wet
areas such as this are often drained so the land can be cultivated
and this destroys the environment that some plants and animals
need to survive.
The unusual combination of habitants
includes alder woodland, wet and dry grassland, marsh, reed swamp
and open water. This supports a diverse range of plants and animals
including breeding and over wintering bird communities and may
species of butterflies and dragonflies. Some of the beetles and
spiders found here are rare in the Midlands.
Mallard: A common wide duck which lives,
visits and breeds here.
Shoveler: A colourful duck with a distinctive
bill. It can visit in winter, spring and summer, and sometimes
Teal: A small dabbling duck which is
a winter visitor from Iceland and Northern Europe and has occasionally
stayed to breed.
Wigeon: A dabbling duck with distinctive
whistling call. In winter is visits from Iceland, Northern Europe
and Western Siberia.
Pochard: A diving duck which is a winter
visitor from North and Central Europe and has bred at the pool
on at least one occasion.
Tufted Duck: A diving duck with long
head feathers that lives and breeds here.
Reed Bunting: Can be seen all year round,
but breeds in the extensive reed swamp.
Great Crested Grebe: Elegant diving
bird with a fascinating courtship display and a semi-floating
nest. Breeds annually at the pool in small numbers.
Reed Warbler: A small summer visitor,
which breeds in reed beds and has a distinctive song.
Grey Heron: Large graceful bird with
a long bill. Can often be seen standing motionless at the waters
edge or perching in trees.
Bank-side and pool edge: Upright chickweed, crow garlic, hoary
cinquefoil, water mint, common reed, reedmace, lesser reedmace,
reed sweet grass, meadowsweet, hemp agrimony.
Aquatic Plants: Fennel pond weed, fringed
Woodland Plants: The woodland is dominated
by trees including alder, oak, crack willow, hazel. The woodland
ground flora includes opposite leaved golden saxifrage, pendulous
sedge and valerian. In the drier open areas plants such as ladys
mantle, and betony are found.
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