The River Mersey is a river in the North West of England. Its name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon language and translates as "boundary river"; the river may have been the border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria and for centuries it formed part of the boundary between the historic counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. The start of the Mersey is at the confluence of the River River Goyt in Stockport, it flows westwards through the suburban areas of south Manchester into the Manchester Ship Canal at Irlam, becoming a part of the canal and maintaining the canal's water levels. After 4 miles the river exits the canal, it narrows as it passes between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes. From Runcorn the river widens into a large estuary, 3 miles across at its widest point near Ellesmere Port; the course of the river turns north as the estuary narrows between Liverpool and Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula to the west, empties into Liverpool Bay. In total the river flows 70.33 miles.
A railway tunnel between Birkenhead and Liverpool as part of the Mersey Railway opened in 1886. Two road tunnels pass under the estuary from Liverpool: the Queensway Tunnel opened in 1934 connecting the city to Birkenhead, the Kingsway Tunnel, opened in 1971, to Wallasey. A road bridge, completed in 1961 and named the Silver Jubilee Bridge, crosses between Runcorn and Widnes, adjacent to the Runcorn Railway Bridge which opened in 1868. A second road bridge, the Mersey Gateway, opened in October 2017, carrying a six-lane road connecting Runcorn's Central Expressway with Speke Road and Queensway in Widnes; the Mersey Ferry operates between Pier Head in Liverpool and Woodside in Birkenhead and Seacombe, has become a tourist attraction offering cruises that provide an overview of the river and surrounding areas. Water quality in the Mersey was affected by industrialisation, in 1985, the Mersey Basin Campaign was established to improve water quality and encourage waterside regeneration. In 2009 it was announced that the river is "cleaner than at any time since the industrial revolution" and is "now considered one of the cleanest in the UK".
The Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service manages local nature reserves such as Chorlton Ees and Sale Water Park. The river gave its name to Merseybeat, developed by bands from Liverpool, notably the Beatles. In 1965 it was the subject of the top-ten hit single "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry and the Pacemakers, its name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon mǣres, "of a boundary" and ēa, "a river." The Mersey was the border river between Mercia and Northumbria. Its Welsh name is Afon Merswy, it has been given the alternative etymology of Celtic "môr-afon" meaning "sea river"; the Mersey is formed from three tributaries: the River Goyt and the River Tame. The modern accepted start of the Mersey is at the confluence of the Tame and Goyt, in central Stockport, Greater Manchester. However, older definitions, many older maps, place its start a few miles up the Goyt at Compstall; the 1784 John Stockdale map shows the River Mersey extending to Mottram, forming the boundary between Cheshire and Derbyshire.
In the west of Stockport it flows at the base of a cliff below the road called Brinksway before reaching flat country. From Central Stockport the river flows through or past Heaton Mersey, Northenden, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Sale, Ashton on Mersey and Flixton at Irlam flows into the Manchester Ship Canal, the canalised section of the River Irwell at this point; the old course of the Mersey has been obliterated by the canal past Hollins Green to Rixton although the old river bed can be seen outside Irlam and at Warburton. At Rixton the River Bollin enters the canal from the south and the Mersey leaves the canal to the north, meandering through Woolston, where the ship canal company's dredgings have formed the Woolston Eyes nature reserve, on to Warrington; the river is tidal from Howley Weir in Warrington, although high spring tides top the weir. Before construction of the ship canal, work to improve navigation included Woolston New Cut, bypassing a meander, Howley Lock for craft to avoid the weir.
The island formed between the weir and the lock is known locally as "Monkey Island". West of Warrington the river widens, narrows as it passes through the Runcorn Gap between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes, in Halton; the Manchester Ship Canal passes through the gap to the south of the river. The gap is bridged by Runcorn Railway Bridge. Another crossing, the Mersey Gateway road bridge opened in October 2017. From the Runcorn Gap, the river widens into a large estuary, 3 miles wide at its widest point near Ellesmere Port; the course of the river heads north, with Liverpool to the east and the Wirral Peninsula to the west. The Manchester Ship Canal enters the river at Eastham Locks; the eastern part of the estuary is much affected by silting, part of it is marked on modern maps as dry land rather than tidal. The wetlands are of importance to wildlife, are listed as a Ramsar site. Most of the conurbation on both sides of the estuary is known as Merseyside; the estuary narrows between Liverpool and Birkenhead, where it is constricted to a width of 0.7 miles, between Albert Dock in Liverpool and the Woodside ferry terminal in Birkenhead.
On the Liverpool side, Liverpool Docks stretch for over 7.5 miles, the largest enclosed interconnected do
Dairy farming is a class of agriculture for long-term production of milk, processed for eventual sale of a dairy product. Although any mammal can produce milk, commercial dairy farms are one-species enterprises. In developed countries, dairy farms consist of high producing dairy cows. Other species used in commercial dairy farming include goats and camels. In Italy, donkey dairies are growing in popularity to produce an alternative milk source for human infants. While cattle were domesticated as early as 11,000 years ago as a food source and as beasts of burden, the earliest evidence of using domesticated cows for dairy production is the seventh millennium BC - the early Neolithic era - in northwestern Anatolia. Dairy farming developed elsewhere in the world in subsequent centuries: the sixth millennium BC in eastern Europe, the fifth millennium BC in Africa, the fourth millennium BC in Britain and Northern Europe. In the last century or so larger farms specialising in dairy alone have emerged.
Large scale dairy farming is only viable where either a large amount of milk is required for production of more durable dairy products such as cheese, etc. or there is a substantial market of people with cash to buy milk, but no cows of their own. In the 1800s von Thünen argued that there was about a 100-mile radius surrounding a city where such fresh milk supply was economically viable. Centralized dairy farming as we understand it developed around villages and cities, where residents were unable to have cows of their own due to a lack of grazing land. Near the town, farmers could make some extra money on the side by having additional animals and selling the milk in town; the dairy farmers would bring it to market on a wagon. Until the late 19th century, the milking of the cow was done by hand. In the United States, several large dairy operations existed in some northeastern states and in the west, that involved as many as several hundred cows, but an individual milker could not be expected to milk more than a dozen cows a day.
Smaller operations predominated. For most herds, milking took place indoors twice a day, in a barn with the cattle tied by the neck with ropes or held in place by stanchions. Feeding could occur with milking in the barn, although most dairy cattle were pastured during the day between milkings; such examples of this method of dairy farming are difficult to locate, but some are preserved as a historic site for a glimpse into the days gone by. One such instance, open for this is at Point Reyes National Seashore. Dairy farming has been part of agriculture for thousands of years, it has been one part of small, diverse farms. In the last century or so larger farms concentrating on dairy production emerged. Large scale dairy farming is only viable where either a large amount of milk is required for production of more durable dairy products such as cheese, etc. or there is a substantial market of people with cash to buy milk, but no cows of their own. Dairy farms were the best way; the first milking machines were an extension of the traditional milking pail.
The early milker device sat on the floor under the cow. Following each cow being milked, the bucket would be dumped into a holding tank; these were introduced in the early 20th century. This developed into the Surge hanging milker. Prior to milking a cow, a large wide leather strap called a surcingle was put around the cow, across the cow's lower back; the milker device and collection tank hung underneath the cow from the strap. This innovation allowed the cow to move around during the milking process rather than having to stand still over a bucket on the floor; the next innovation in automatic milking was the milk pipeline, introduced in the late 20th century. This uses a permanent milk-return pipe and a second vacuum pipe that encircles the barn or milking parlor above the rows of cows, with quick-seal entry ports above each cow. By eliminating the need for the milk container, the milking device shrank in size and weight to the point where it could hang under the cow, held up only by the sucking force of the milker nipples on the cow's udder.
The milk is pulled up into the milk-return pipe by the vacuum system, flows by gravity to the milkhouse vacuum-breaker that puts the milk in the storage tank. The pipeline system reduced the physical labor of milking since the farmer no longer needed to carry around huge heavy buckets of milk from each cow; the pipeline allowed barn length to keep increasing and expanding, but after a point farmers started to milk the cows in large groups, filling the barn with one-half to one-third of the herd, milking the animals, emptying and refilling the barn. As herd sizes continued to increase, this evolved into the more efficient milking parlor. Innovation in milking focused on mechanizing the milking parlor to maximize the number of cows per operator which streamlined the milking process to permit cows to be milked as if on an assembly line, to reduce physical stresses on the farmer by putting the cows on a platform above the person milking the cows to eliminate having to bend over. Many older and smaller farms still have tie-stall or stanchion barns, but worldwide a majority of commercial farms have parlors.
In herringbone and parallel parlors, the milker milks one row at a time. The milker will move a row of cows from the holding yard into the milking parlor, milk each cow in that row. Once all of the milking machines have been removed from the milked row, the milker releases the cows
Wirral known as The Wirral, is a peninsula in North West England. The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral is part of the Liverpool City Region, it is bounded to the west by the River Dee, forming a boundary with Wales, to the east by the River Mersey, to the north by the Irish Sea. The rectangular peninsula is about 15 miles long and 7 miles wide. Wirral was wholly within Cheshire. However, since the passing of the Local Government Act 1972, only the southern third has been in Cheshire, with the rest in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in the modern county of Merseyside. Wirral contains both affluent and deprived areas, with affluent areas in the west and north coast of the peninsula, deprived areas concentrated in the east, around the built-up district of Birkenhead; the name Wirral means "myrtle corner", from the Old English wir, a myrtle tree, heal, an angle, corner or slope. It is supposed that the land was once overgrown with bog myrtle, a plant no longer found in the area, but plentiful around Formby, to which Wirral would once have had a similar habitat.
The name was given to the Hundred of Wirral around the 8th century. The earliest evidence of human occupation of Wirral dates from the Mesolithic period, around 7000 BC. Excavations at Greasby have uncovered flint tools, signs of stake holes and a hearth used by a hunter-gatherer community. Other evidence from about the same period has been found at Irby and New Brighton. Neolithic stone axes and pottery have been found in Oxton and Meols. At Meols and New Brighton there is evidence of continuing occupation through to the Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, funerary urns of the period have been found at West Kirby and Hilbre. Before the time of the Romans, Wirral was inhabited by the Cornovii. Artefacts discovered in Meols suggest it was an important port from at least 500 BC. Traders came from Gaul and the Mediterranean localities to seek minerals from North Wales and Cheshire. There are remains of a small Iron Age fort at Burton. Around 70 AD, the Romans founded Chester. Evidence of their occupation on Wirral has been found, including the remains of a road near Mollington and Willaston.
This road may have continued to the port at Meols, which may have been used as a base for attacking the north Wales coast. Storeton Quarry may have been used by Romans for materials for sculpture. Remains of possible Roman roads have been found at Greasby and at Bidston. By the end of the Roman period, pirates were a menace to traders in the Irish Sea, soldiers may have been garrisoned at Meols to combat this threat. Although Roman rule ended with the departure of the last Roman troops in 410 coins and other material found at Meols show that it continued to operate as a trading port. Evidence of Celtic Christianity from the 5th or 6th centuries is shown in the circular shape of churchyards at Bromborough and elsewhere, in the dedication of the parish church at Wallasey to a 4th-century bishop, Hilary of Poitiers; the Celtic names of Liscard and Landican both suggest an ancient British origin. The name of Wallasey, meaning "Welsh island", is evidence of British settlement; the Welsh name, both ancient and modern, for Wirral is Cilgwri.
In Welsh mythology, the ouzel of Cilgwri was one of the most ancient creatures in the world. The Anglo-Saxons under Æthelfrith, king of Northumbria, laid waste to Chester around 616. Æthelfrith withdrew, leaving the area west and south of the Mersey to become part of Mercia, Anglo-Saxon settlers took over Wirral except the northern tip. Many of Wirral's villages, such as Willaston and Sutton, were established and named at this time. Towards the end of the 9th century, the Norsemen or Vikings began raiding the area, they settled along the Dee side of the peninsula, along the sea coast, giving their villages names such as Kirby and Meols. They introduced their own local government system with a parliament at Thingwall; the pseudo-historical Fragmentary Annals of Ireland appears to record the Norse settlement of the Wirral peninsula in its account of the immigration of Ingimundr near Chester. This Irish source places this settlement in the aftermath of the Vikings' expulsion from Dublin in 902, an unsuccessful attempt to settle on Anglesey soon afterwards.
Following these setbacks, Ingimundr is stated to have settled near Chester with the consent of Æthelflæd, co-ruler of Mercia. The boundary of the Norse colony is believed to have passed south of Neston and Raby, along Dibbinsdale. Evidence of the Norse presence in Wirral can still be seen from place name evidence – such as the common -by – suffixes and names such as Tranmere, which comes from trani melr; the finding of two hogback tombstones corroborates this. Recent Y-DNA research has revealed the genetic trail left by male Vikings in Wirral relatively high rates of the haplogroup R1a, associated in Britain with Norse ancestry. Bromborough in Wirral is one of the possible sites of an epic battle in 937, the Battle of Brunanburh, which confirmed England as an Anglo-Saxon kingdom; this is the first battle where England united to fight the combined forces of the Norsemen and the Scots, thus historians consider it the birthplace of England. The battle site covered a large area of Wirral. Egil's Saga, a story which tells of the battle, may have referred to Wirral as Wen Heath, Vínheíþr in Icelandic.
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation; the local authority is Manchester City Council. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell, it was a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated in the 20th century. The first to be included, was added to the city in 1931. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city.
Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 36 miles to the west, its fortune declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation, but the IRA bombing in 1996 led to extensive investment and regeneration. In 2014, the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. Manchester is the third-most visited city after London and Edinburgh, it is notable for its architecture, musical exports, media links and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world's first inter-city passenger railway station. Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games; the name Manchester originates from the Latin name Mamucium or its variant Mancunium and the citizens are still referred to as Mancunians. These are thought to represent a Latinisation of an original Brittonic name, either from mamm- or from mamma.
Both meanings are preserved in Insular Celtic languages, such as mam meaning "breast" in Irish and "mother" in Welsh. The suffix -chester is a survival of Old English ceaster and from that castra in latin for camp or settlement; the Brigantes were the major Celtic tribe in. Their territory extended across the fertile lowland of what is now Stretford. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, General Agricola ordered the construction of a fort named Mamucium in the year 79 to ensure that Roman interests in Deva Victrix and Eboracum were protected from the Brigantes. Central Manchester has been permanently settled since this time. A stabilised fragment of foundations of the final version of the Roman fort is visible in Castlefield; the Roman habitation of Manchester ended around the 3rd century. After the Roman withdrawal and Saxon conquest, the focus of settlement shifted to the confluence of the Irwell and Irk sometime before the arrival of the Normans after 1066. Much of the wider area was laid waste in the subsequent Harrying of the North.
Thomas de la Warre, lord of the manor and constructed a collegiate church for the parish in 1421. The church is now Manchester Cathedral; the library, which opened in 1653 and is still open to the public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. Manchester is mentioned as having a market in 1282. Around the 14th century, Manchester received an influx of Flemish weavers, sometimes credited as the foundation of the region's textile industry. Manchester became an important centre for the manufacture and trade of woollens and linen, by about 1540, had expanded to become, in John Leland's words, "The fairest, best builded and most populous town of all Lancashire." The cathedral and Chetham's buildings are the only significant survivors of Leland's Manchester. During the English Civil War Manchester favoured the Parliamentary interest. Although not long-lasting, Cromwell granted it the right to elect its own MP. Charles Worsley, who sat for the city for only a year, was appointed Major General for Lancashire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major Generals.
He was a diligent puritan, banning the celebration of Christmas. Significant quantities of cotton began to be used after about 1600, firstly in linen/cotton fustians, but by around 1750 pure cotton fabrics were being produced and cotton had overtaken wool in importance; the Irwell and Mersey were made navigable by 1736, opening a route from Manchester to the sea docks on the Mersey. The Bridgewater Canal, Britain's first wholly artificial waterway, was opened in 1761, bringing coal from mines at Worsley to central Manchester; the canal was extended to the Mersey at Runcorn by 1776. The combination of competition and improved efficiency halved th
Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east and Shropshire to the south and Flintshire and Wrexham county borough to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester. Other major towns include Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Northwich, Runcorn and Winsford The county covers 905 square miles and has a population of around 1 million, it is rural, with a number of small towns and villages supporting the agricultural and other industries which produce Cheshire cheese, salt and silk. Cheshire's name was derived from an early name for Chester, was first recorded as Legeceasterscir in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, meaning "the shire of the city of legions". Although the name first appears in 980, it is thought that the county was created by Edward the Elder around 920. In the Domesday Book, Chester was recorded as having the name Cestrescir, derived from the name for Chester at the time. A series of changes that occurred as English itself changed, together with some simplifications and elision, resulted in the name Cheshire, as it occurs today.
Because of the close links with the land bordering Cheshire to the west, which became modern Wales, there is a history of interaction between Cheshire and North Wales. The Domesday Book records Cheshire as having two complete Hundreds that became the principal part of Flintshire. Additionally, another large portion of the Duddestan Hundred became known as Maelor Saesneg when it was transferred to North Wales. For this and other reasons, the Welsh language name for Cheshire is sometimes used. After the Norman conquest of 1066 by William I, dissent and resistance continued for many years after the invasion. In 1069 local resistance in Cheshire was put down using draconian measures as part of the Harrying of the North; the ferocity of the campaign against the English populace was enough to end all future resistance. Examples were made of major landowners such as Earl Edwin of Mercia, their properties confiscated and redistributed amongst Norman barons. William I made Cheshire a county palatine and gave Gerbod the Fleming the new title of Earl of Chester.
When Gerbod returned to Normandy in about 1070, the king used his absence to declare the earldom forfeit and gave the title to Hugh d'Avranches. Because of Cheshire's strategic location on Welsh Marches, the Earl had complete autonomous powers to rule on behalf of the king in the county palatine; the earldom was sufficiently independent from the kingdom of England that the 13th-century Magna Carta did not apply to the shire of Chester, so the earl wrote up his own Chester Charter at the petition of his barons. Cheshire in the Domesday Book is recorded as a much larger county, it included two hundreds and Exestan, that became part of North Wales. At the time of the Domesday Book, it included as part of Duddestan Hundred the area of land known as English Maelor in Wales; the area between the Mersey and Ribble formed part of the returns for Cheshire. Although this has been interpreted to mean that at that time south Lancashire was part of Cheshire, more exhaustive research indicates that the boundary between Cheshire and what was to become Lancashire remained the River Mersey.
With minor variations in spelling across sources, the complete list of hundreds of Cheshire at this time are: Atiscross, Chester, Exestan, Middlewich, Roelau, Tunendune and Wilaveston. Feudal baronies or baronies by tenure were granted by the Earl as forms of feudal land tenure within the palatinate in a similar way to which the king granted English feudal baronies within England proper. An example is the barony of Halton. One of Hugh d'Avranche's barons has been identified as Robert Nicholls, Baron of Halton and Montebourg. In 1182 the land north of the Mersey became administered as part of the new county of Lancashire, thus resolving any uncertainty about the county in which the land "Inter Ripam et Mersam" was. Over the years, the ten hundreds consolidated and changed names to leave just seven—Broxton, Eddisbury, Nantwich and Wirral. In 1397 the county had lands in the march of Wales added to its territory, was promoted to the rank of principality; this was because of the support the men of the county had given to King Richard II, in particular by his standing armed force of about 500 men called the "Cheshire Guard".
As a result, the King's title was changed to "King of England and France, Lord of Ireland, Prince of Chester". No other English county has been honoured in this way, although it lost the distinction on Richard's fall in 1399. Through the Local Government Act 1972, which came into effect on 1 April 1974, some areas in the north became part of the metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Stockport, Hyde and Stalybridge in the north-east became part of Greater Manchester. Much of the Wirral Peninsula in the north-west, including the county boroughs of Birkenhead and Wallasey, joined Merseyside as the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. At the same time the Tintwistle Rural District was transferred to Derbyshire; the area of south Lancashire not included within either the Merseyside or Greater Manchester counties, including Widnes and the county b
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. Anglesey, Wales, is the largest island in the Irish Sea; the second in size is the Isle of Man and the sea may but be referred to as the Manx Sea. The Irish Sea is of significant economic importance to regional trade and transport, power generation in the form of wind power and nuclear power plants. Annual traffic between Great Britain and Ireland amounts to over 12 million passengers and 17 million tonnes of traded goods; the Irish Sea is connected to the North Atlantic at both its southern ends. To the north, the connection is through the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Malin Sea; the southern end is linked to the Atlantic through the St George's Channel between Ireland and Pembrokeshire, the Celtic Sea. It is composed of a deeper channel about 190 miles long and 20–30 miles wide on its western side and shallower bays to the east; the western channel's depth ranges from 80 metres up to 275 m in the Beaufort's Dyke in the North Channel.
Cardigan Bay in the south, the waters to the east of the Isle of Man, are less than 50 m deep. With a total water volume of 2,430 km3 and a surface area of 47,000 km2, 80% is to the west of the Isle of Man; the largest sandbanks are the Bahama and King William Banks to the east and north of the Isle of Man and the Kish Bank, Codling Bank, Arklow Bank and Blackwater Bank near the coast of Ireland. The Irish Sea, at its greatest width, narrows to 47 miles; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Irish Sea as follows, On the North. The Southern limit of the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland, defined as a line joining the South extreme of the Mull of Galloway in Scotland and Ballyquintin Point in Northern Ireland. On the South. A line joining St. David's Head in Wales to Carnsore Point in Ireland; the Irish Sea has undergone a series of dramatic changes over the last 20,000 years as the last glacial period ended and was replaced by warmer conditions. At the height of the glaciation, the central part of the modern sea was a long freshwater lake.
As the ice retreated 10,000 years ago, the lake reconnected to the sea. Ireland has no bridge connection to Great Britain. Northern Ireland ports handle 10 million tonnes of goods trade with the rest of the United Kingdom annually; the Port of Liverpool handles 734 thousand passengers a year. Holyhead port handles most of the passenger traffic from Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ports, as well as 3.3 million tonnes of freight. Ports in the Republic handle 3,600,000 travellers crossing the sea each year, amounting to 92% of all Irish Sea travel. Ferry connections from Wales to Ireland across the Irish Sea include Fishguard Harbour and Pembroke to Rosslare, Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire and Holyhead to Dublin. From Scotland, Cairnryan connects with both Larne. There is a connection between Liverpool and Belfast via the Isle of Man or direct from Birkenhead; the world's largest car ferry, Ulysses, is operated by Irish Ferries on the Dublin Port–Holyhead route. "Irish Sea" is the name of one of the BBC's Shipping Forecast areas defined by the coordinates: 54°50′N 05°05′W 54°45′N 05°45′W 52°30′N 06°15′W 52°00′N 05°05′WTransport for Wales Rail, Iarnród Éireann, Irish Ferries, Stena Line, Northern Ireland Railways, Stena Line and Abellio ScotRail promote SailRail with through rail tickets for the train and the ferry.
The Caernarfon Bay basin contains up to 7 cubic kilometres of Permian and Triassic syn-rift sediments in an asymmetrical graben, bounded to the north and south by Lower Paleozoic massifs. Only two exploration wells have been drilled so far, there remain numerous undrilled targets in tilted fault block plays; as in the East Irish Sea Basin, the principal target reservoir is the Lower Triassic, Sherwood Sandstone, top-sealed by younger Triassic mudstones and evaporites. Wells in the Irish Sector to the west have demonstrated that pre-rift, Westphalian coal measures are excellent hydrocarbon source rocks, are at peak maturity for gas generation. Seismic profiles image these strata continuing beneath a basal Permian unconformity into at least the western part of the Caernarfon Bay Basin; the timing of gas generation presents the greatest exploration risk. Maximum burial of, primary gas migration from, the source rocks could have terminated as early as the Jurassic, whereas many of the tilted fault blocks were reactivated or created during Paleogene inversion of the basin.
However, it is possible that a secondary gas charge occurred during regional heating associated with intrusion of Paleogene dykes, such as those that crop out nearby on the coastline of north Wales. (Floodpage et al
Geology of Alderley Edge
Alderley Edge in Cheshire is one of the classic locations for the study of Triassic sandstones in the United Kingdom]. Numerous scientists from the early 19th century up to the present day have studied the area and it is a popular field site for universities around the UK; the sandstones provide important insights into the nature of continental natural gas and petroleum reservoirs. The nomenclature of the English Triassic was rewritten in the 1980s and many of the previous names were changed; the classic terms'Bunter' and'Keuper' have now been abandoned, the formations now recognized in the UK Triassic sequences, constitute three major stratigraphic units: the Sherwood Sandstone Group the Mercia Mudstone Group the Penarth Group. In order to maintain an understanding of earlier work, the older names with appropriate cross references are used in places; the geology of Alderley Edge has fascinated people from all walks of life, scientists and tourists for hundreds of years. In 1811 Bakewell described it thus: "The hill is evidently of alluvial formation, being composed chiefly of gravel and soft white and reddish sandstone, – the white is intermixed with rounded quartz pebbles, the red with particle of mica.
In some parts the red and white sandstone assume a nearly stratified appearance, in others the red stone intersects the white in thin seams, branching in various directions. In the white sandstone are found various ores of lead as small portions of galena and in the same granular state intermixed with sandstone. In other places particles of blue and brown were collected in nodules of various sizes and imbedded along with pebbles in the sand rock like currants in a pudding." In 1882, Ormerod in his book The History of Cheshire describes it as follows: "Alderley Edge is an abrupt and elevated ridge the site of a beacon, which bears the appearance of having been detached by some great convulsion of nature from the range of the Macclesfield hills. Near the summit cobalt ore and copper have been got in small quantities; the sides are varied with cultivated land and rock. The Alderley sandstones are classic redbed deposits, a distinctive sedimentary facies traditionally associated with non-marine depositional environments such as alluvial floodplains and arid deserts.
They form part of the Cheshire Basin and the Edge is one of the classic onshore localities in the UK for their study. They provide important insights to the nature and evolution of deformation in continental clastic natural gas and petroleum reservoirs, such as those of the Rotliegend in the Southern North Sea Gas Basin and of the Sherwood Sandstone Group in the adjacent East Irish Sea Basin. Analogues for cemented cataclastic faults, which can compartmentalise reservoirs, are well displayed by the arrays of deformation bands within the Alderley outcrops. By the Triassic, the Permian Zechstein Sea had retreated and the climate had become a little wetter giving a gentle transition making the Permian-Triassic boundary uncertain in northern England as there are no fossil horizons or facies changes that make a definitive separation possible as there in continental Europe; the horizon however is characterised by a succession of red marls deposited on coastal flats, followed by the Sherwood Sandstone.
The'British Isles' had an intra-continental position within Pangea. The area that now constitutes Great Britain was drifting northwards as Pangea rotated, was at a latitude of 10° – 20° north, equivalent to the latitude of the present day Sahara desert. Erosion of the recently uplifted landmass formed Aeolian deposits in the southern and central parts of the country; this iron-rich silica sandstone was both oxidised and reworked to give it its red colouration and its name, "New Red Sandstone". British deposits of the era consist of these red beds, alluvial and lake deposits, with some shallow-water marine and evaporite deposits; these Permo-Triassic outcrops can be seen in Devon. Within the main central England basin, the deposits are dominated by pebbly sandstones and conglomerates, which have been interpreted as the deposits of a fluvial system running within well-confined channels; the Sherwood Sandstone Group comprises a series of coarse sandstones and mudstones. The Chester pebble beds to the south of Alderley represent material deposited in alluvial fan/braided river system.
The finer sediments of the Wilmslow and Helsby Sandstone to the west of Alderley represent alluvial deposits of low sinuosity channels. The Alderley area represents the midpoint between the full braided river system and the lower energy area. Minor aeolian dunes and channel infill deposits in the Wilmslow Sandstones indicate an inter channel area or seasonal drying of some of the minor river channels; the Sherwood Sandstone Group can be broadly divided into an upper and a lower unit, at the level of a recognized intra-Sherwood Sandstone disconformity within the uppermost Lower Triassic This disconformity separates two quite distinct environmental systems. This disconformity is assumed to be equivalent to the Hardegsen disconformity of the central European/Southern North Sea Basin, although the age of this disconformity is not constrained as it is in Europe by biostratigraphical indicators Below the intra-Sherwood Sandstone disconformity these deposits are d