Chase lies between Cannock, Lichfield, Rugeley and Stafford.
an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1958, this
is the largest surviving area of lowland heathland in the
Midlands. The 26 square miles of the AONB forms a high plateau,
bordered by the Trent Valley to the north and the West Midlands
to the south.
Chase has a wide range of landscapes including natural deciduous
woodland, coniferous planations and open heathland. There
are also the remains of industry, such as coal mining.
wildlife and plant communities are part of an historic landscape
that dates back thousands of years. Cannock Chase was an
ancient hunting forest and the wild fallow deer roaming here
today are probably descended from the original herd introduced
by the Normans.
Sherbrook Valley stands a Commonwealth War Cemetery and the
German Military Cemetery, containing 5,000 graves of German
servicemen who died in both World Wars.
of Cannock Chase and its coal mining tradition is brought
to life at the visitor attraction Museum of Cannock Chase in Hednesford.
Heart of England Way, a long-distance footpath, runs
for 100 miles from Milford Common on Cannock Chase to Bourton
on the Water in the Cotswolds.
Chase covers several areas:
Cannock Chase Country Park, managed by Cannock Chase council,
covers 4.5 square miles and is one of the biggest country
parks in England. Large parts of the country park are important
sites for wildlife and have been designated as Sites of Special
Scientific Interest (SSSI). Within the country park lies
Castle Ring, the remains of an Iron Age hill fort. The Cannock
Chase Visitor Centre is located in Marquis Drive.
Cannock Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission, takes
up most of the rest of Cannock Chase. The Forestry Commission
Visitor Centre, in Birches Drive, includes a Forestry Musuem.
Shugborough, now owned by the National Trust, this fine house, set in
a large estate, lies on the north-east edge of Cannock Chase.
Shugborough was the ancestral home of the late 5th Earl of
Litchfield (the photographer Patrick Litchfield).
Hazelslade Local Nature Reserve lies near Hednesford on the border
of Cannock Chase and the Forest of Mercia. Managed by the
council, this small area includes secondary woodland, a pool,
wetland and agriculturally improved grassland.
Wolseley Garden Park, managed by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, stands on the north-east edge of Cannock Chase. The park boasts circular nature trails, lakes and a visitor centre.
Chasewater Country Park and Forest of Mercia
the south, Cannock Chase adjoins the Forest of Mercia and the edge of the Black Country. Chasewater Country Park, at the heart of the Forest of Mercia, lies 4 km south of the Iron Age hill-fort of Castle Ring on
Cannock Chase. The lake, created in 1797 as a canal feeder
reservoir for the Wyrley and Essington Canal, remains the
largest in use in the region today. The park's 360 hectares
of water and open space offer many activities including walking,
cycling, sailing, water skiing and angling. The Chasewater
to Lichfield Walk, a long-distance footpath, starts here.
At the centre of the park lies the Forest of Mercia Innovation
Centre, the main information centre for the Forest of Mercia
and Chasewater Country Park. This has regular exhibitions
and houses 10 craft workshops. The Country Park also boasts
a steam railway.