Know before you go
Parking informationPark at Snailbeach Village Hall, SY5 0NZ. Free parking but a donation to the village hall is appreciated.
Grazing animalsSheep on occasions throughout the year, so please keep your dog on a lead.
The reserve is only accessible by walking and can be incorporated into a circular walk from the nearby Hollies nature reserve. A public right of way passes through the reserve. It is possible to reach Brook Vessons by hiking directly up through the woodland overlooking Snailbeach. Please allow at least 1 hour to make the trek there.
Toilets are available at the car park at Snailbeach. Reserve is at high altitude so prepare well for such conditions.
From Snailbeach car park there is a gate. There are several other entrances from the Stiperstones, which have a mixture of gates and stiles. There is a stile or gate between The Hollies and Brook Vessons.
From Snailbeach car park there is a metalled road surface. This becomes a rocky/grassy path that can be rutted and muddy in parts. The Hollies is uneven grass with tussocks; Brook Vessons is very wet and muddy in parts.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Brook Vessons adjoins the Hollies. Here you find yourself among towering hedgerows, gnarled old trees, a tangled woodland, tiny meadows and boggy, tussocky grazing pastures. Dormice are known to breed here.
Perhaps the strangest thing about Brook Vessons is its cluster of giant trees. Within just 100 metres are some of the broadest rowans in Britain; the biggest birch in Shropshire; the biggest holly in Shropshire and the county’s biggest crab apple tree.
It lies on the edge of The Paddock – a village that grew up with the local mining industry as people took on smallholdings to supplement their income. It was finally abandoned early in the 20th century, when the industry declined, but the remnants of field and cottage walls remain.
Brook Vessons is most easily found by walking to the top of The Hollies, keeping to the brow of the hill. A little to your east go over a stile and you will be in Brook Vessons.