Stiperstones National Nature Reserve



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The Stiperstones NNR is a spectacular six-mile ridge in southwest Shropshire rising to 1,750ft above the sea and providing dramatic scenery and an outstanding combination of geological, landscape and wildlife features. The 480 million-year-old Ordovician rocks of The Stiperstones were shattered and split during the last Ice Age to produce today’s jagged tors and boulder-strewn landscape. Much of the reserve is heathland, with bell heather and western gorse abundant on south-facing slopes, while north-facing slopes are dominated by common heather and bilberry. In the wetter areas, cross-leaved heath, bog mosses, cotton grass, bog asphodel and marsh violet thrive while grasslands species include heath speedwell, heath bedstraw and mountain pansy. Bird life includes red grouse, skylark and meadow pipit on the open heathland, stonechat and whinchat on the heathland fringe, and buzzard, raven, pied flycatcher and wood warbler in the wooded areas. Fox, brown hare, rabbit,common frog and common lizard all live on the reserve, as do many heathland insects, including grayling and green hairstreak butterflies and fox and emperor moths.

Stiperstones National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Shropshire

Perhaps nowhere else in England will you find a county so deeply rural and with so much variety as Shropshire. Choose a clear day, climb to the top of The Wrekin, and look down on that ‘land of lost content’ so wistfully evoked by A E Housman. Peer through your binoculars and trace the course of Britain’s longest river as the Severn sweeps through the county, from the Breidden Hills to Wyre Forest, slicing Shropshire in two. To the north is a patchwork of dairy fields, hedgerows, copses and crops, broken at intervals by rugged sandstone ridges such as Grinshill or Nesscliffe, and dissected by a complex network of canals.

Spilling over the border into neighbouring Cheshire and North Wales is the unique meres and mosses country, with serenely smooth lakes glinting silver, interspersed with russet-tinged expanses of alder-fringed peat bog, where only the cry of the curlew disturbs the silence. South of the Severn lies the Shropshire Hills AONB. It’s only when you walk Wenlock Edge that you fully discover what a magical place it is – glorious woods and unexpectedly steep slopes plunge to innumerable secret valleys, meadows, streams and farmhouses, all tucked away, invisible from the outside world. 

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