Sound Common is a nature reserve nestled in the largely flat landscape of the Cheshire Plain, approximately three miles south-west of Nantwich.

It supports a mosaic of habitats including, woodland, scrub, acidic and neutral grassland, several areas of damp heath and many permanent and seasonal pools and hollows. Many of the pools result from the localised extraction of sand and they have a different ecology from the more common marl-pits, glacial kettle holes and salt-subsidence flashes of the Cheshire Plain.

Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1963, this 4.8 hectare site supports a rich variety of pond dwelling species including the nationally rare Pond Mud Snail Omphiscola glabra, Great Crested Newts Triturus cristatus and the rather beautiful aquatic plant Water Violet Hottonia palustris. Sound Common is also a great site for dragonflies and damselflies with around fifteen species seen over the site, including the first record in Cheshire for Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta.

Sound Common became one of our Flagship Pond sites predominantly for its association with one of our target restricted species, the rather elegant Pond Mud Snail, which is a rare and declining wetland mollusc. Historically, this species was widespread throughout lowland areas of England and Wales, but has undergone a marked decline in the last 50 years and it is now classified as vulnerable (IUCN). The Pond Mud Snail prefers ponds with low calcium, nutrient poor water on acidic sandy or gravelly soils, especially within unimproved pasture and heathland. Pond Mud Snails can survive drought conditions, and so typically occur in habitats such as temporary ponds, ditches and seepages that dry up in summer.

Location: Cheshire

Accessibility: Some Flagship Pond sites are accessible to the public, and some are not. If in doubt, consult maps for rights of way, look online for site information, or contact the site manager, and follow any instructions on site. It is up to you to check whether you require permission to visit and access the ponds on a site.

Site owners/managers: Cheshire East Council