Sweeney Fen

This tiny fen is one of the most exquisite flower meadows in Shropshire

Location

3 miles south of Oswestry
Oswestry
Shropshire
SY10 8LP
A static map of Sweeney Fen

Know before you go

Size
1 hectare

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Outside reserve entrance

Grazing animals

Cattle are present for several months a year so please keep dogs on a lead

Walking trails

A footpath is marked out each summer so that people can enjoy the fen with minimal damage to its flowers.

Access

Accessibility: Amber

This small site is flat but can be boggy during wet weather.  Entrance to the site is through a gate.

Dogs

On a lead
Please keep dogs on a lead to avoid damaging the special meadow plants and when cattle are present

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April 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. 

Contact us

Location map

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.

To watch the Countryfile episode (on Iplayer) click here

Become a member and support our work

The vital work we do for nature depends on the support of people who care about the future of Shropshire's wildlife and wild places.

Become a member