Know before you go
Reserve entrance is opposite the Buckatree Hotel. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Little sister to the famous Wrekin it may be, but the Ercall has its own grandeur. Human activity is dramatically evident in the huge chunk blasted out of the hillside to provide road stone for the nearby A5. Destructive this certainly was, but it had the unexpectedly wonderful effect of laying bare the earth’s history; revealing rocks from the earliest beginnings of life on this planet.
Ripples in the surface where waves lapped on an ancient shoreline some 500 million years ago are distinctly visible. Amazingly, this part of Britain used to be 60 degrees south of the equator – stand here on a wet, wintry day and imagine that!
It’s not just old rocks that make the Ercall interesting. In spring the woods are awash with bluebells and singing with birds just returned from Africa, and in summer plentiful bird’s-foot trefoil makes this a favoured stronghold of one of Telford’s speciality butterflies, the dingy skipper. A staggering 821 species of invertebrates (butterflies, beetles, spiders, bees, bugs, ants etc) were found here in a single survey.
An easy, gentle walk takes you on to the quarry floor; to explore the woods properly and gain the views, a steep climb is necessary. The Forest Glen, once the site of a celebrated local tea room, now a car park, was acquired by the Trust in 2005, with substantial assistance from Shropshire Horticultural Society. The Glen, with its dramatic rockface, is the gateway to the Wrekin, one of Shropshire’s most famous and best-loved landmarks.