Know before you go
Parking informationPark at the car park, SY7 9NZ, found very easily from The Bog Visitor Centre SY5 0NG. take the road towards Linley/More at the junction. Follow the road for half a mile, just after the boarding kennel the turning is on the left hand side.
Grazing animalsYes - please keep dogs on a lead.
Access from the car park is via a kissing gate. A stile leads directly to the rocky tor. Approaching from the north along the Shropshire Way there are stiles. The surfaced track is easy to follow, going off this track takes you onto tussocky heather and bilberry scrub with stony and uneven surfaces. You can ascend to the top of the site (not the top of the rock) steeply or gently. Once at the top the Shropshire Way follows the contour in both directions for sever hundred metres.
The heather vegetation can hide the track surface, where there are numerous protruding rocks, so please take care.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
The Stiperstones is one of Shropshire’s wildest places with craggy tors and rost-shattered quartzite boulders strewn on the ground. While a large part of the heathland ridge was designated a National Nature Reserve in the 1960s, areas outside its boundaries were engulfed by the fashion for conifers. Large blocks of spruce and fir were planted, blocking out views and destroying the places where red grouse, curlew, skylark, grayling butterflies and emperor moths once lived.
Some years ago Shropshire Wildlife Trust teamed up with English Nature (later Natural England), the Forestry Commission and others to restore heathland across the Stiperstones ridge through a project called Back to Purple. Today most of the conifers have gone and the purple flowers of heather along with juicy, dark whinberries have reappeared.
When the emperor moth caterpillar can creep from one end of the Stiperstones ridge to the other, the Back to Purple project will have achieved its original aim. The scheme has spurred on the felling of hundreds of acres of conifers planted in the 1960s and given heather and whinberry a chance to return. Conifer plantations were felled at Nipstone in 2001 and 2006 and the speed of recovery has been amazing. Already drifts of purple heather and bilberry are back, skylarks and meadow pipits nesting among the tussocks. An 11-acre swathe of oaks, rowan and ash has been planted, creating new foraging habitat for bats and birds.