Know before you go
Parking informationOutside reserve entrance
Grazing animalsCattle are present for several months a year so please keep dogs on a lead
A footpath is marked out each summer so that people can enjoy the fen with minimal damage to its flowers.
This small site is flat but can be boggy during wet weather. Entrance to the site is through a gate.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
Water from the surrounding limestone hills seeps into the peat, making ideal ground conditions for several Shropshire rarities. Globeflower is found here, an Ice Age survivor at one of its most southerly points, clinging on in one or two wet places, its spherical flowers a soft, glowing yellow. In May the star-shaped flowers of bogbean appear, fringed petals opening white from dark pink buds. Thousands of fragrant orchids flower in early July; tall spikes of purple-pink, along with hundreds of dusky-petalled marsh helleborines, marsh orchids and wild angelica.
Dragonflies, frogs and a rare, tiny, whorled snail called Vertigo lilljeborgi also thrive in these boggy conditions.
Hay from Sweeney Fen has been spread on several nearby fields in the hope that the seeds of some of its extraordinary plants will grow and flourish beyond the nature reserve. Cattle graze the marshes for several months of the year to prevent the rushes overgrowing the meadow. It is a small reserve and fragile, so please tread carefully and stick to the path. The fen is approached over a stone-slab bridge and can be wet underfoot. Please keep dogs under control.
Directions to Sweeney Fen
Approach Sweeney Fen via the lane signed to Sweeney Mountain off the A483 south of Oswestry or off the A495 just west of the Llynclys crossroads.
Countryfile at Sweeney Fen Nature Reserve
Sweeney Fen Nature Reserve featured on an episode of Countryfile on Sunday August 22nd 2021.
Matt Baker visited the site as part of a series of episodes to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Offa's Dyke Path, which runs near the Reserve.
At Sweeney Fen, Matt learnt about traditional meadow management and with the help of Shropshire Wildlife Trust volunteers, learnt how to use a scythe, to safely remove the seed heads of the plants and grasses. These were then bundled up and spread at neighbouring Treflach Farm
To find out more about the episode, Sweeney Fen and meadow management read our blogs below.
Filming for Countryfile – a day on set
You’d be surprised at how many requests we receive from Countryfile for story ideas. Well, given that it has to fill an hour of air time…
Wildflowers at Sweeney Fen
Sweeney Fen hosts a very rare habitat for Shropshire – calcareous fen. Here base-rich water seeps from the limestone bedrock into the…
Wildflower Meadow Regeneration
Species-rich grassland is a sadly endangered thing – since 1950, we’ve lost around 98% of our traditional wildflower meadows. They were…