Ifton Meadows Local Nature Reserve is a former Colliery site which has since been re-clothed by nature to provide a diverse mosaic of habitats and notable species. From semi-natural ancient woodland with extensive swathes of British bluebell to skylarks nesting on the acid grassland with views across the wider countryside to the Welsh hills.
Oswestry, St Martins
Small free car park for about 5 cars at main entrance.
Nearest settlement – St Martins. Follow the brown tourist road signs from the centre of St Martins to the main entrance.
Lat/Long: 52.930566, -3.0145524
Open all the time.
Ifton Meadows and Price’s Dingle cover 17.8 hectares and are owned and managed by Shropshire Council who work closely with local people via Ifton Meadows Management Committee.
Ifton Meadows and Price’s Dingle is an area where wildlife abounds and which is accessible to the local community to enjoy quiet informal recreation in a tranquil and natural setting. In keeping with its Local Nature Reserve designation, the site is managed in a non-intensive, and where possible sustainable, manner aimed at maintaining and enhancing the site’s biodiversity (habitats and species) and geodiversity (geological, industrial and archaeological heritage) whilst encouraging compatible access for recreation and education.
Ifton Meadows occupies a former colliery waste tip. Ifton Colliery closed in 1968 and re-opened as a green space for local people on 12th May 1978. Its importance was recognised in 2005 when it was designated a Local Nature Reserve.
There are four entrances with the main one to the east of the site, follow the brown road signs from St Martins to this entrance, there is a small car park at this entrance. Take the wheelchair friendly path from the main entrance and follow it to the top of the site, you will be surprised by the peace and quiet that you will find and the lovely views over the valley to the Berwyn Mountains and the surrounding area.
The network of footpaths throughout the site are of tarmac, stone or well-worn grass.
The site supports a high diversity of habitats:
- acid, neutral and marshy grassland;
- ancient semi-natural woodland known as Price’s Dingle;
- planted (recently developed) woodland;
- scrub (scattered and dense patches); and
- open water (pond and stream).
Together these semi-natural habitats cover nearly 18ha and support a wide range of flora and fauna species.
The site is highly valued by local residents for quiet informal recreation due to its aesthetic appeal and naturalness/wildlife. It is also of significant educational value due to its proximity to three schools and colleges. Features of particular interest include:
- the site’s rich industrial and archaeological heritage;
- the diversity of habitats and range of "landscapes" which occur across the site;
- the open views from the centre of the site;
- the flowers which are present in parts of the site, for example the common spotted-orchids and spring flowering woodland flora;
- the presence of accessible and visible geological features; and
- the site's overall tranquillity and naturalness.
A diverse range of flora and fauna can be found on site, most notably including, skylark, dingy skipper butterfly, long-eared bats, grass snake and adder, diverse populations of uncommon burrowing wasp, ant and bees, common spotted orchid. Within Price’s Dingle the ground vegetation is abundant and diverse (nearly 100 plant species recorded) including carpets of ransoms (wild garlic), dog's mercury, wood anemone and bluebell with enchanter's nightshade, honeysuckle, lords-and-ladies, wood speedwell, wood avens, common dog-violet, bramble, gooseberry, opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage, primrose, moschatel and early-purple orchid.
Events are held at various times throughout the year and all are welcome to join in.
We hope you enjoy your visit but please remember this is a Nature Reserve and we ask you to not disturb breeding birds or leave any litter behind.
Things to see and do
- Take a walk through Price’s Dingle in the spring to see carpets of wild garlic, British bluebells and wood anemone, one of the best places in the county for this spectacle.
- Experience the wide views across the neighbouring countryside to the Welsh hills and listen for iconic summer’s afternoon song of the skylark.
- Explore the sites varying mosaic of habitats and species via the network of footpaths.
No public transport to site.
Ifton Meadows Management Committee. Friends of Ifton Meadows Facebook page