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A WOODLAND haven overlooking panoramic views of the water, Lymm Dam is simply stunning.
Teeming with wildlife both in the water and out, the 17-hectare site offers an escape from the worries of the world.
Schoolchildren go pond dipping and play on the sandstone wall, bird watchers have their binoculars sharply trained on the trees, anglers try and make their catch of the day while walkers take pleasant strolls.
Ranger Tim Baker, who has worked at the dam for 23 years, said: “Lymm Dam is a place that means many things to many people and sometimes those people can get quite passionate about it.
“I don’t see that as a bad thing, more a confirmation of the site’s value.”
Tim’s role involves patrolling the area, running environmental education sessions for young people and running a programme of events and guided walks.
“Lymm Dam is a place that means many things to many people and sometimes those people can get quite passionate about it.Ranger Tim Baker
He is not always in the ‘great outdoors’ but that is the part of the job that gives him the most pleasure.
“Being in the outdoors is still the area I most enjoy and I sometimes rue the fact I don’t do as much of that as I once did,” said Tim.
“On the other hand, the interaction I now have with internal and external partners means that there are far more elements to my job than there once was, so it’s more interesting and wide ranging.
“It can get a bit hectic at times, but I certainly never get bored, that’s for sure.”
Lymm Dam was built in 1824 – the year Beethoven’s masterpiece Symphony No 9 was premiered in Vienna – when a turnpike road was created from Warrington to Stockport.
After its completion, the pool and stream below the church became the lake, which exists today.
This year marks another important milestone in the history of the dam – its first Green Flag award, the benchmark of excellence for recreational park areas.
Tim added: “Obviously there’s a sense of achievement about knowing you measure up to a national standard, but for me the greater benefits are the requirements of attaining Green Flag status.
“This is an award which, following initial achievement, you must apply for year on year, and if you don’t come up to scratch, the award is taken off you.
“So it isn’t simply a case of making your site look pretty for inspection day, then resting on your laurels once you’ve got the award.” The Environment Agency also put its best foot forward for Lymm Dam when they provided a £24,000 grant to resurface the western bank’s footpath to make life easier for walkers.
Clr Alan Litton, executive board member for environment services, said: “The works that have taken place at Lymm Dam have made it easier and safer for visitors to enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
“Warrington has many such gems to enjoy.”