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Upper Norton

Shropshire, England

Autumn in Shropshire - Where to go and what to see

Posted by Luci Ackers on Oct 07, 2015
Wildlife in Shropshire
Wildlife in Shropshire
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  • Wildlife in Shropshire
  • Long Mynd - a favourite with walkers
  • Male linnet in gorse
  • Stonechat
  • Brown Clee Hill
  • Pine marten
  • Sky lark on heather bush
  • Arley Arboretum
  • Arley Arboretum
  • Children having fun at Arley Arboretum
  • Children having fun at Arley Arboretum

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Keep busy in Shropshire this autumn. It doesn't have to be the height of summer to appreciate the local wildlife.

Granville Country Park

This nature reserve in Telford is a great place for gentle walks, with a number of surfaced walkways and a variety of habitats including grassland, wetland and woodland.

This part of Shropshire is usually well regarded for its species of orchid, which appear in the nature reserve mid year along with many butterfly species. The country park is a haven for birdlife and wildlife and, during the autumn months, an interesting range of fungi will grow throughout the oak and birch woodlands.

Construction of a solar farm in nearby Muxton has meant that Granville Country Park has unfortunately come under threat from a planning application to construct a temporary road through the centre. This would be really disruptive to visitors and inhabitants and the Shropshire Wildlife Trust has opposed the idea. A decision will be made in the coming months and you can keep up to date with the progress here.

What to look out for in Shropshire

Pine martens

There are already pine martens in Scotland and small numbers of them in Wales too, but now there is conclusive evidence that a pine marten was spotted in Shropshire. For the first time in a century a pine marten sighting in England was recorded earlier this year thanks to a photo taken by Dave Pearce in the Shropshire Hills area. Pine martens are cat-sized mammals, often light or dark brown and are most active amongst trees in the twilight – so keep your eyes peeled! The BBC reported on the beautiful animal here.

Otters

The River Severn otters are a bit of a talking point at the moment. A family of otters has been spotted up and down the river and recently one has been impressing pedestrians and passers-by right in the heart of Shrewsbury! A good vantage point could be the English Bridge which has been lucky enough to look right down on to them in the past.

Dormice

Shropshire tends to be one of the most northerly points of dormouse distribution in Europe. At this time of year they are particularly active facing the run-up to hibernation season. The mice can hibernate from the end of October right through to April and sometimes even longer – so they need at least six months worth of fat stores and food supplies to keep them going.

They can wake up for brief periods to eat from their supply and these charismatic little creatures will be very active at the moment, gathering anything they can get their paws on such as hazel nuts, berries and insects!

Hope Valley is located toward the northern edge of the Shropshire Hills AONB and has a great dormouse population. This oak woodland is the ideal habitat for them and there are well-marked paths meaning the area is easy for humans to explore too!

Where to walk

Arley Arboretum is a firm favourite for good reason at this time of year. You can take the Severn Valley Railway to Arley and easily walk to the Arboretum from the station. Have a wander amongst the beautiful gardens and then from here you can walk along the River Severn to Bewdley. There is another station here so hop on a train to return home. It makes for a good day out with lots to see, but do check opening times on the Arley Arboretum website before setting off!

Enjoy a wander

This time of year, Catherton Common is a good one for walks. It's sweeping skies and wide heathland scenery provide a change from the green, wooded valleys that characterise other parts of this region. 

The common is a wild place and is painted with browns, yellows and golds in the autumn months. Heathers, grasses and gorse provide a rich habitat for bird species such as skylarks, linnets and stonechats. The area is largely pesticide-free so it's a haven for many insects too.

Alternatively the Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve spreads almost 550 hectares but a walk around its bottom edge (closest to Far Forest) provides a lovely countryside setting with woodland, good views and autumn leaves to enjoy. 

Stay in Shropshire and discover the wildlife for yourself. Upper Norton is a wonderful property located close to Craven Arms at the edge of the Shropshire Hills AONB. Find out how to stay here by following the link below.

FIND OUT HOW YOU TOO CAN STAY HERE
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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.


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