With its marshes, pools, heathland and woodland, a great variety of wildlife flourishes at Brown Moss. There are several reasonably level, well defined circular walks, most of which require stout footwear or wellingtons.

Nearest to

Whitchurch

Parking

Free parking is available all year round.

Location

Brown Moss is two miles south of Whitchurch, east of the A41.

Postcode

SY13 4BX

Map reference

Lat/Long: 52.951081, -2.6533511

Opening times

Every day of the year.

About

With its marshes, pools, heathland and woodland, a great variety of wildlife flourishes here, including great spotted woodpeckers, jays, and common and great crested newts. In the summer, large numbers of froglets can be seen making a mass exodus from the pools, whilst dragonflies are glimpsed hunting around the ponds and woodland edges.
There are several reasonably level, well defined circular walks, most of which require stout footwear or wellingtons.

With its marshes, pools, heathland and woodland, a great variety of wildlife flourishes at Brown Moss, including great spotted woodpeckers, jays, and common and great crested newts. In the summer, large numbers of froglets can be seen making a mass exodus from the pools, whilst dragonflies are glimpsed hunting around the ponds and woodland edges.

This 32 hectare site is one of Shropshire’s most important places for plants, with over 200 species of native wildflowers, including the rare Floating Water Plantain, possibly the rarest plant in Britain, and a collection of other wetland plants found in few other sites in England. Because of its wildlife interest, Brown Moss is designated as a Local Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and RAMSAR site.

There are several reasonably level, well defined circular walks, most of which require stout footwear or wellingtons.

A family-friendly route has been designed at the site. (Other family-friendly walks are available at other countryside sites).

Unfortunately, in recent years, some of the pools on the site have been invaded by crassula helmsii, a very successful non-native which is smothering some of the more delicate plants on site. When visiting this site, please keep to the paths and away from the edges of the pools. This will help limit the spread of this plant and reduce the damage to fragile marsh areas.

Brown Moss is less than 3 miles from the centre of Whitchurch while the flower rich hay meadows of Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s Melverley Meadows nature reserve is only 2 miles north east. Another nature reserve owned by Butterfly Conservation, Prees Heath Nature Reserve, is 2 miles south next to the A41 and is the only site in the Midlands where you can see the silver studied blue butterfly from mid-June to late July.

Habitat Management

Many of the rare plants here thrive in light, open, wet areas on the edges of ponds and pools but over the past 100 years Brown Moss has become more wooded threatening the continued presence of these flowers. Scrub growth will continue to be a problem here until grazing is re-established. Without management of the site the heathland area, the pools and many of the most valuable and interesting plants and animals which make Brown Moss so special would disappear. During the winter months we continue work to remove scrub and young trees which have invaded the site. If you would like to know more, or would like to volunteer to help with work at Brown Moss, please contact us via the details on this page.

Grazing

Grazing is the best way of managing the marsh vegetation and heathland on this site, and we are looking to support or introduce grazing management where feasible. Recently Shropshire Council made a successful application to the Secretary of State and fenced the majority of the common land making up the site in order to allow grazing by cattle.

Things to see and do

  • Explore the extensive network of footpaths and trails which criss-cross this large, 32 hectare, nature reserve and enjoy a peaceful picnic looking out over water and wetland.
  • Take a 2 mile walk along footpaths and country lanes to the Flower rich meadows of Melverley Meadows Shropshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve best visited mid-June to late July.
  • Stop off at Prees Heath Nature Reserve, only 2 miles away, to see the Silver Studded Blue butterfly from mid-June to late July.

Getting there

Brown Moss is not on a bus route and is approximately two miles from Whitchurch Railway station.

Web links

Prees Heath Common Reserve

Shropshire Wildlife Trust - Melverley Meadows

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