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Severn Valley Country Park

   
Address : Alveley
Town/City : Bridgnorth
County : Shropshire
Country : England
Post code : WV15 6NG
Phone : 01746 781192
Web Site :  www.shropshire.gov.uk/outdoor-recreation/parks-and-countryside-sites/severn-valley-country-park

In the peaceful, scenic valley of the River Severn there awaits a delightful countryside experience.

 

 



Green Flag award-winning Severn Valley Country Park offers 126 acres of beautiful countryside and wonderful views, spanning both sides of the longest river in the country. The woodlands, ponds and meadows in the park are full of many species of plants and animals, some of them quite rare.

 

shrops-svcp4A fantastic day out for all the family.

• Visitor Centre and shop selling maps, guidebooks, park souvenirs and locally made products
• Teashop and picnic areas
• Natural play area with a climbing frame and 'miniature Severn Valley'!
• Waymarked trails to help you discover the hidden corners of the park
• Easy Access Trail and fully accessible bird hide
• Permanent orienteering trail with 3 levels of difficulty
• Route 45 (part of the Sustrans national cycle network) passes through the park
• Request stop for the Severn Valley Railway
• Toilets, including disabled facilities and a baby change unit
• Car parking at Alveley and Highley

The park acts as a gateway to the excellent footpath network through the woodlands & meadows of the Severn Valley, between Bridgnorth and Bewdley.

Bring a map, don your boots and discover an ancient sandstone cross, babbling brooks, historical ferries and a flash of azure blue as a kingfisher flies past.

 

Visitor Centre and Teashop

The park boasts a fantastic visitor centre with plenty of information about the history and wildlife of the area. There is also a kids corner with activities for younger people to enjoy while mum and dad relax with a well-earned cup of tea and a slice of delicious homemade cake.

The Visitor Centre and Teashop opening times are:
April- October Wednesday-Sunday 11am-5pm
November – March Weekends Only 11am-4pm
It is open Bank Holidays (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and 7 days a week during the school holidays.

shrops-svcp2There is also a room that is used by visiting school parties who come along and enjoy pond-dipping, minibeast hunts and a range of other activities to enrich their education.

 

History of The Park

Now an oasis of peace and tranquillity, this part of the Severn Valley used to be a centre of industry. Sandstone quarried from the area was used to build part of Worcester Cathedral and would have been loaded onto trows (flat-bottom barges) on the river.

Coal mining started in Highley in 1878. Production was switched to Alveley in 1936. At its peak the mine employed 1,000 men and produced 300,000 tonnes of coal a year. It shut down in 1969. Following the closure of the mine, the spoil heaps and land lay derelict until 1986. Shropshire County Council and Bridgnorth District Council embarked on an ambitious project to reclaim the land, installing drainage ditches, re-grading the spoil heap and planting trees. Severn Valley Country Park opened in 1992 and is now managed by Shropshire Council.

 

Hall Close Coppice

This is our area of semi-natural ancient woodland. It is managed by coppicing small areas of hazel and alder and allowing them to re-grow. This encourages wildlife like the rare dormouse, a secretive little creature with a fluffy tail that lives in the trees.
Take a walk through the shady woodland in May and experience the sight and smell of a bluebell carpet.

 

Station Road Site

This site marks the location of the first mine shaft that was sunk in Highley. There is a pit wheel that was erected by the people of Highley in 1994 as a memorial to the brave, hard-working men who were at the core of this community.
An excellent footpath through the site leads down past the picnic area and pond and through the woodland to Highley Station. A great place to walk the dog and relax after work.

 

The River Severn

shrops-svcp3The riverside meadows are great places to see invertebrates including the rare club-tailed dragonfly. Wander through the orchard in Autumn and sample some of the local provenance apples that grow here. The bridge over the river was rebuilt in 2006. It is an excellent place to see bats hunting as the sun sets over the valley. The original bridge was built to take coal and miners across the river and was the first concrete cantilever bridge of its kind in the world.

 

The Sidings

The paths here were part of the original tramway route taking coal to be washed, graded and loaded onto trains. The ground has been made up into embankments. The woodland is dominated by trees such as silver birch and willow that have seeded. It is a good place to see woodland birds such as nuthatch, tree creeper, blue tit and great tit.

 

Easy Access Nature Trail and Wetland

This is a relatively flat trail that is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. It leads round a beautiful pond with mallards, coots and moorhen bobbing amongst the lily pads. At the end of the trail is a bird hide that overlooks the wetland. The reeds are cut annually to create perfect conditions for wading birds such as water rail. A rare bittern (a small brown heron) has also visited the area!

 

Discover Spring Pieces

This is a quieter area of the park. It was not affected by the mining. The hay meadow here is a fantastic place to see wildflowers such as rare adder's tongue fern, orchids and yellow rattle.

Walk through the buttercups and see butterflies and bumblebees lazily flying around in the sunshine. Elfin Pool is a fantastic place to bring a net and go pond dipping. Look out for green woodpeckers flying around the meadows, feeding on yellow meadow ants.

 

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Featured Attraction


Head for The Heights this year

Head for The Heights of Abraham, the award winning Hilltop Park situated in the spectacular Derwent Valley, just 9 miles from Chatsworth on the western edge of the Peak District National Park.

This "must see" Derbyshire jewel of an attraction is accessed by state of the art enclosed cable cars located on the banks of the River Derwent next to Matlock Bath railways station and the town's public car parks. Simply purchase your cable car ticket, and then sit back to enjoy Instagram-ready views of the geologically stunning valley as you climb to the summit.
TIP: You can save money by purchasing your tickets online in advance of your visit. Go to www.heightsofabraham.com for ticket prices and availability
Once you've purchased your cable car ticket, access to all the summit attractions is free, offering a great value-day-out whatever the weather. Head off to explore 60 acres of landscaped grounds, undercover interactive exhibitions, photography gallery, multi-media show caverns, adventure playgrounds, woodland walks and trails.

You can choose to dine in the Vista restaurant with its stunning views down the valley, or enjoy a snack in the café or out on the terrace with similar breath-taking views. Picnic areas can be found throughout the grounds, and during the school holidays you'll discover extra entertainment like the traditional Punch and Judy show (with a satisfying Heights of Abraham twist) for all the family to enjoy.
TIP: Dining times can be reserved in advance. This is recommended especially during the busiest times of the year. Phone 01629 582365 to make a reservation or pre-order the popular afternoon tea package.
Most visitors are surprised to learn that the Heights is in fact the Derbyshire's oldest tourist attraction. The cable car system has carried millions of visitors to the summit over the last thirty five years, yet it remains one of the latest chapters in the fascinating story of the Heights of Abraham. The Heights first opened as a Pleasure Ground in 1780 when visitors would make the climb from the valley floor on foot to witness some of the finest views across the surrounding area. Almost two and a half centuries later you are still able to wander around the estate with its zigzag paths and pleasant woodland trails. It is easy to understand why the area proved inspirational to the Romantic movement of the period.

As long ago as Roman times, Lead deposits may have been found in the area but it took another 1000 years before Lead mining was officially recorded on site. These impressive mines were active for over 400 years and left behind a legacy of passageways and awe-inspiring caverns. Today, thanks to all that hard work you can follow in the miners' footsteps down the passageways they created, going deep underground into the Heights' famous Show Caverns. From the glow of a single miner's candle to the whole cavern being awash with colour-changing lights, the Great Masson Cavern tour is one of the talking points of a visit to this Hilltop Park. Here, where the Equator was once situated millions of years ago, you can learn all about the rocks, minerals and underground formation of the Peak District. Equally, a visit to the Great Rutland Cavern is well worthwhile. First opened to the public over 200 years ago in 1810, you can experience a day in the life of the very miners who made your trip possible.

Those of an inquisitive mind should make sure they visit The Long View exhibition to see and hear the 230 year story about why the estate has been a favourite place to visit for many generations. On the upper floor the Fossil Factory brings to life fun and interesting facts about rocks, fossils and the formation of the Peak District. Tinker's Shaft SSSI is a spectacular location with a new viewing platform, high above the Derwent Valley and near the exit from the Great Masson Cavern. Interpretative panels provide information on the importance of the site, the natural history, the geology and the labyrinth of lead mines below Tinker's Shaft... directly beneath your feet!

The Heath and Heaven Gallery is a delightful pictorial journey through the Peak District from north to south and shot from the air on a single summer's day. Next to this you will find Through the Lens, a 12 minute film of the Great Masson guided tour, ideal for those who cannot, or do not wish to go underground during their visit.

If you're heading into Derbyshire or the Peak District, don't miss the opportunity to head for the Heights this year and tick this one off your bucket list. The cable car is just the start of a fascinating, relaxing and fun day out for everyone. Keep up to date with the news by visiting the official website for opening times, special offers and details of forthcoming events: www.heightsofabraham.com

MJPL6641MJPL6890The Long View ExhibitionMJPL7135Woodland Adventure

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