Earl's and Pontesford Hill

Earl's and Pontesford Hill

A historic reserve with volcanic origins

Location

Off the A488 at Pontesford along the lane by Wynnstay
Pontesbury
SY5 0UH
A static map of Earl's and Pontesford Hill

Know before you go

Size
46 hectares

Entry fee

No

Grazing animals

Yes

Access

Two routes around this reserve, contact the Trust for more information.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Local people see the shape of a sleeping dragon in Earl’s Hill and fiery its beginnings certainly were. This distinctive, humped hill roared forth from a volcano some 650 million years ago. An Iron Age hill fort was built on its lofty summit around 600 BC and in 1964 it became the Trust’s very first nature reserve. A hill such as this invites you to climb to the top and if you can manage the very steep climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views and grassland studded with flowers. But Earl’s Hill is renowned for its variety of wildlife habitats and there is a great deal more to be explored and discovered on its lower slopes. In spring the wood – hazel, oak, field maple, holly and yew - is awash with bluebells and singing with migrant birds, encouraged to breed here by the provision of numerous nest boxes. Dippers can be spotted flying just above the stream, or bobbing up and down on rocks. There is fine old meadowland here, with anthills of the yellow hill ant – a favoured feeding ground for green woodpeckers. In summer look out for the tiny purple flowers of wild thyme and butterflies, such as small blues and orange tips.   Directions: Look out for the reserve sign in Pontesford, turning off the A488 up a lane. There is a small car park about 700 yards up. Two routes are waymarked around the hill; the green signs for the easier route and the purple for the more demanding route that leads to the summit.        

Contact us

Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01743 284280

Environmental designation

Ancient Woodland