Broad Ees Dole frozen back in January
Broad Ees Dole, located in the northeast of Sale Water Park, is an important wildlife refuge. Major work was carried out in the 1980s to develop Broad Ees Dole into a wetland area that could be managed to improve the wildlife value of the park, in particular for wild birds, the main lake being too deep to provide food for many bird species. It was officially opened in 1987.
The amount of water entering and leaving the Dole is managed, maintaining its mud flats to make sure they are available for birds like snipe and little ringed plovers throughout the year. Migratory birds like redshank and sandpiper also use the Dole as a resting and feeding place on their route north for the summer. In summer and winter, water is allowed in, to prevent the mud from drying up; in spring and autumn, water is released, to expose the mud.
As well as the wading birds, mallards, coots, moorhens and lapwings nest in the reeds in the marshland surrounding the mud flats. Herons and kingfishers are also frequently seen. There are no footpaths through the Dole, but the wildlife can be viewed from the paths around its perimeter.