A disused industrial site, now a haven for birds


One of the best bird-watching sites in Shropshire, Wood Lane Nature Reserve has been developed in recent years on worked-out industrial land, Tudor Griffiths Group’s old sand and gravel workings near Ellesmere.

Several large lagoons with islands and surrounding wetland make up the reserve, which is surrounded here by a working landscape with mountainous heaps of sand providing a backdrop – and also the perfect nesting opportunity for hundreds of pairs of sand martins. Landfill and quarrying activities take place adjacent to the reserve.

More than 180 species of birds have been recorded at Wood Lane since the nature reserve was established in 1999. Pumps control the water levels, so that optimum amounts of mud and water are available for wading birds such as greenshank and curlew; islands have been created for safe roosting; hundreds of trees have been planted and scores of nest boxes installed.

The reserve is a rare and much valued haven for breeding lapwing, tree sparrow and yellow hammer, while little ringed plover is another speciality. The sand mountain provides an ideal nesting site for sand martin, of which 500 pairs have been known. Waders, such as greenshank, godwit and whimbrel, drop in to feed up on their migration journeys in spring and autumn. There are around 40 breeding bird species on the reserve.

There are two large hides facing the lagoons and school groups regularly visit.


A permit is required to access some of the hides at Wood Lane- a permit form can be downloaded below.


From the A528, just south of Ellesmere, take the Colemere road at the Spunhill crossroads. The car park is ¾ mile down on the right.


Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Birch Road Pond
2 miles - Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Wem Moss
3 miles - Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Prees Branch Canal
5 miles - Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

South of Ellesmere on the Colemere Road
SY12 0HY
Map reference
SJ 424 328
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
15.12 hectares

Contact the Trust for access information.
Take the Colemere road off the A528 south-east of Ellesmere at the Spunhill crossroads, the car park is
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01743 284280


Factsheets and guides for your visit


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