Summer Fun in the Geopark!

Join us in the Geopark at one of the visitor centres, where there’s plenty to do for the family.

 

As well as the usual fantastic visits and spaces, many of our Geopark Forum members have special events for families over the holidays.

 

Bewdley Museum, Severn Valley Country Park, Hartlebury Castle and Worcester Cathedral have lots of exciting craft activities and activities to do.

Worcester Cathedral have free ‘Back to the Charter’ activities on various dates throughout the holidays. There is also the chance to have a go at a Civil war pike drill on 16, 18 and 20 August 11am and 1pm.

 

Hartlebury Castle have Summer Fun each week Tuesday to Thursday. There will be fun hands on craft activities. Week one is Gypsy caravans, followed by nature, creating dinosaurs and crafty pirates. Usual admission applies, with £2 per activity. They also have a bat walk on sat 31st July. The holidays end with a performance of Treasure Island on Sun 29 August, followed by a Swashbuckling Bank Holiday  Monday – Join Captain Sharkbreath and his First Mate Ruby Cutlass to learn how to talk like a pirate, all about cannon drills and hear some pirate tales in our Swashbuckle Sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severn Valley Country Park have bug hunts, crafts, orienteering and den building with their Rangers on various dates. £2 each, booking required.

Bewdley Museum have crafts each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with different crafts each day including Viking shields, photo frames, superhero capes and bird feeders. Each cost £5 and need to be booked in advance.

 

The Great British Staycation is running this summer at Severn Valley Railway

Sunshine, the taste of ice cream, the feel of sand between your toes, the sounds of Punch and Judy, donkeys trotting on the beach and steam train adventures – the Great British Staycation returns to the Severn Valley Railway. From July 17th to September 5th, there’s so much to do for children of all ages, harking back to summer holidays from years gone by.

Alongside your journey, there’ll be a variety of interactive activities throughout the whole summer at The Engine House, including: A HUGE indoor beach every day, a giant deckchair, free Donkey Rides (every Monday starting 2nd August), Free interactive yellow-coat summer stage shows (every Tuesday from July 27th), Free Punch & Judy Shows (every Wednesday), Free Crazy Golf (every Thursday)

 

 

If you are looking for events at home then Lapworth Museum have events on Zoom each Wednesday. Ichthyosaur Jigsaw, Mammoth Fun, Family Fun day and a Quiz are some of the sessions. There will also be an Insect Safari on the University of Birmingham’s campus on 25th August.

Dudmaston will have traditional outdoor games out to play, plus a sheet with ideas of activities to do whilst you are visiting. Brockhampton will also have cards with nature-based activities to have a go at.

 

If you’re looking for trails then Arley Arboretum have a choice of a fairy door or wildlife trail you can enjoy the tranquility of the Arboretum whilst the kids follow their clues.

Coupled with a maze, play area and lots of nooks and crannies to explore the Arboretum is a kids paradise! Visits need to be booked in advance.

There’s another chance to have a go at being an archaeology with an Archaeology Quest at The Hive. Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology are running their popular event on Fri 30 July. It’s free, but booking required.

The visitor centres are also well worth visiting in their own right, and plenty of space where you can get out and explore and run off energy. Cob House, Arley Arboretum, NT Croome, Wyre Forest and other places are great for a day out.

Check out details before visiting, as details can change, especially at present time!  You can also check out the GeoFest pages for even more suggestions!

 

Thank you to Merlin for sponsoring GeoFest

Bewdley Museum – Visiting Summer 2021

Bewdley Museum is open!

A hidden gem in the heart of Bewdley, it is set in the heart of the beautiful riverside market town of Bewdley, rich in Georgian heritage. On the edge of the historic Wyre Forest, Bewdley offers an ideal starting point for many scenic walks and easy access to local attractions such as Severn Valley Railway and West Midlands Safari Park.

Visit it and take a look back in time, not only into the history of the Georgian town but also the surrounding Wyre Forest area.

It is free to visit!

The museum, cafe and gift shop are open 10am-4:30pm. Craft studios opening times vary. Due to current guidance the Air Raid Shelter and Foundry Office are currently closed.

They have a number of great events happening this summer, including Cherry Fair 1940s weekend 24/25 July, children’s summer holiday activities, guided town walks on 28 July, and The Great Gatsby on 8 August

 

The River Severn in Bewdley

Severn Valley Country Park – Visiting Summer 2021

Severn Valley Country park

Severn Valley Country park is a great place to visit. It is open, so a great place to go to get out an about in the great outdoors. There a currently a few changes due to the health guidelines.

The park and play areas are open, and the kiosk will be open Wednesday to Sunday 10am-4pm.

At Alveley, the toilets are open daily, 10am-4pm. We request that visitors wear a face mask when in the toilet block. Staff will continue to deep clean and regularly check the toilet block daily

The car park will remain open. (The main car park from 10am-4.30pm and the out-of hours car park at other times). The ticket machine is accepting card (chip and pin & contactless) and cash. Charging hours are 10am-4pm.

-the visitor centre remains closed and the toilets at Highley remain closed.

 

Please stay safe everyone.

 

Further information:

The toilets will be deep cleaned daily and will be checked regularly. They have also set up queue markers so that people can wait safely. They are advising visitors to wear a face mask when they are in the toilet block.

The play areas are OPEN daily. They are cleaning them daily and strongly advise visitors to follow the guidelines when using them. Guidelines are displayed by the equipment. Thank you.

They look forward to seeing you at the park soon!

Please observe social distancing guidelines and keep 2 metres away from anyone not from your household, and so not visit if you or a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19.
DO NOT have BBQ’s as the increased fire risk could put the emergency services under unnecessary added pressure.

When visiting, we urge you to adhere to government social distancing guidelines so we can beat this virus.

 

Ten good reasons to visit Severn Valley Country Park:

1. We provide regular activities for kids, led by one of our team, as well as a safe, fun play ground for the kids to let off steam.

2. You can explore the park on one of our self-led walks, cycle paths, or enjoy a horse ride on our surfaced paths and public bridleways.  Explore the wider Severn Valley on one of our guided walks.

3. We have a great environment for educational activities for kids including a purpose built classroom.

4. Our purpose built easy access trail is designed especially for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

5. Soak up the wonderful views from the comfort of the visitor centre and enjoy a drink and a snack in the Severn Valley Country Park cafe.

6. We have lots of family picnic benches scattered throughout the park

7. Our spring-fed pond has a pond dipping platform that enables children to get close to the water’s edge in safety while enjoying the wonder of investigating the species that live there.

8.  A wonderful rural setting along one of the most beautiful stretches of the River Severn, that is easily accessible from Bridgnorth, Shropshire and Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

9. We are built around an old colliery site and have a fantastic industrial history to explore and a great mix of habitats from reclaimed land to semi-natural ancient woodland.

10. Ample car parking including spaces for motor cycles, coaches and Blue Badge Holders.

Wyre Forest - Visiting in 2021

As restrictions ease there are even more reasons to get out and about the Geopark. There are some fantastic places to visit, and plenty of open spaces to explore. We look at the latest opening details from our partner venues.

Whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, or you want something more adventurous, Wyre Forest has something for everyone.

The Wyre Forest, managed by Forestry England, is a great place to visit and explore. It is open to visit, and most of the facilities are available. Although very popular, there’s plenty of space so you can spread out. It is open every day (except Christmas Day) 9am to 9pm.

The car park, toilets, walking trails, cycle trails and bike hire are all open. The cafe is open for takeaway. Gruffalo orienteering is currently closed.

Coronavirus information – Car parks and toilets are being cleaned in line with Government guidance, and you are encouraged to pay without cash if possible. Should the car parks get very busy please consider coming another time. Whilst in the forest please socially distance and be considerate of staff and other visitors.

There’s plenty to do here, whether you want peace and quiet or do a running or cycle trail. So why not visit this summer!

 

 

 

Out and About in GeoFest at Geopark Visitor Centres

Our partner venues are well worth visiting throughout the summer. Latest details are below, but this may change in response to Government guidelines. For general enquiries please email amhg@outlook.com

 

Arley Arboretum, Lion Lane, Arley, bewdley, DY12 1SQ  Arley Arboretum and Gardens | Worcestershire | Arley Estate

Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm

Admission charges apply, book in advance

 

Bewdley Museum, Load Street, Bewdley, DY12 2AE www.bewdleymuseum.co.uk

Open 10am-4:30pm

Free

 

Cob House Country Park, Wichenford, Worcester WR6 6YD      www.cobhouse.org

Under new ownership

The Mayfly Cafe – Open 8am to 4pm everyday.

Fishing – Open EVERY day for pleasure fishing 8am to 4pm (7:30am on weekends)

The Park grounds and Animals – Open

 

Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust, Hartlebury, Worcestershire, DY11 7XZ

Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun & Bank Holidays 11am-5pm

Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire County Museum and Old Moat Coppice nature trail.

Admission charges apply https://hartleburycastle.com/

 

Hereford Museum & Art Gallery, Broad Street, Hereford HR4 9AU www.herefordshire.gov.uk/museums

Tue-Fri 10-4 & Sat 10-12:30

Free

 

Land of Living Dinosaurs at West Midlands Safari Park, Bewdley, Worcs, DY12 1LF   www.wmsp.co.uk

 

Lapworth Museum of Geology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT www.birmingham.ac.uk/facilities/lapworth-museum/index.aspx

Tue-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 12-5pm, Booking required

 

Malvern Hills GeoCentre, Walwyn Rd, Upper Colwall, Malvern WR13 6PL www.geocentre.co.uk

The Centre is now open Mon-Tue & Thu-Fri 10am-4pm. Cafe H2O:  Mon, Tue, Thur & Fri 10am – 3pm

 

National Trust

National Trust properties are open, although some facilities may still be closed. Check the website for latest guidance

 

Severn Valley Country Park, Alveley, Bridgnorth WV15 6NG www.shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk/site/severn-valley-country-park

The park, and play areas are open but the visitor centre remains closed

The refreshment kiosk is now open 10am-4pm. The bird hides are also now open.

At Alveley, the toilets are open daily, 10am-4pm, the toilets at Highley will remain closed

 

Severn Valley Railway www.svr.co.uk

The Engine House is open, as are refreshment facilities, and trains are running

 

Worcester Cathedral, Worcester WR1 2LA www.worcestercathedral.co.uk

Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm & Sun 1-3pm for visitors

Three Choirs Festival takes place Sat 24 July to Sun 1 Aug so access will be restricted.

 

Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service, The Hive, Worcester, WR1 3PD  www.explorethepast.co.uk

Archive Desk Tues – Fri 10:30am-3:30pm,

HER Desk Tue & Thu 10:30-1;30

Self Service – Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-5pm

 

Wyre Forest Centre, DY14 9XQ  www.forestryengland.uk/wyre-forest

Car park, toilets, walking & cycling trails, care and bike hire open.

8am-9pm

Geopark – Mid-September catchup

As we slip through September, there are more of our partner’s visitors centres reopening and putting on some great events, so check for details before travelling and adhering to social distancing guidelines enjoy taking advantage of the great places we have in the Geopark.

Have another look at our September updates post and get to the events in this lovely weather we are having.

Geopark – September Updates

For example …

Bewdley Museum have the Worcestershire in the Ice Age exhibition ending on the 20th September so not long now.
a sketched mammoth in various tones of blue and purple with trees and mountains in the background
Or perhaps perhaps you are waiting for their guided town walks 18 and 21 October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wyre Forest (Forestry England) still have loads of things to do with 3 walking trails, 1 cycling trail, Horse riding, Go Ape, Nordic Walking, Play area, Picnic areas, Bike hire, Café and, of course, dogs welcome

Group dog walking

 

Heritage Open Days (free entry).

The Cob House Country Park has reopened and continuing their Boot Camp 9.30am.
The Severn Valley Country Park has lots of guided walks for example Guided Walk: Along the Valley to Northwood with
Steam Train Return (7 miles) on Monday 16th September 9.30am-4.30pm

Severn Valley Railway have reopened, along with SVRs two pubs though be sure to pre-book your ‘Freedom of the Line‘ tickets and read the guidelines.

Personally I did a short 8km walk yesterday around the Great Witley area and relished the views and the refreshements.

 

Panoramic view scenery from Great Witley

Panoramic view west from Great Witley (Shelsey Beauchomp)

Geopark – September Updates

More of our partner’s visitors centres are reopening, so there’s lots more opportunities to enjoy the great locations and get out and about this autumn. Not all facilities will be open, especially inside, and face masks will probably need to be worn indoors, so please check. Several venues have cafes taking part in the Eat Out To Help Out, giving an extra incentive to visit!

Take advantage of the great places we have in the Geopark but please check details before travelling, and please socially distance when you are there.

Wyre Forest (Forestry England), Severn Valley Country Park, have their car parks and grounds open again. At Wyre Forest you have hire a bike again and go on trails, but there are not special activities. Hartlebury Castle has reopened with amended opening days/times. Cob House Country Park has reopened too, along with their cafe, with a few changes from normal.

National Trust have begun reopening, and the gardens and estates at Brockhampton, Croome, Dudmaston & Kinver are all open, but must be booked in advance. Greyfriars in Worcester is still closed.

Worcester Cathedral now has limited opening, 11-3 Monday to Sunday, although not all areas will be open. Daily and Sunday services have resumed. The cafe has reopened for takeaways and eat in.

Bewdley Museum and Severn Valley Railway have reopened, along with SVRs two pubs. Cafe H2O / Malvern Hills GeoCentre is now open again too 10am-4pm every day except, as usual, Wednesdays

Malvern GeoCentre is closed but hoping to open their café for takeaways soon. Hereford Museum & Art Gallery is closed at the moment, as is  Lapworth Museum of Geology .

Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service’s public areas in The Hive are still closed, but they are replying to enquiries and the Archive reopened 1st September.

We will keep you informed as access to our wonderful landscape continues to improve. Remember there are lots of self guided geology and landscape trails and booklets available. Information about them is given below and under ‘Explore Geology and Landscape’ on the home page menu bar.

Eat Out To Help Out in the Geopark

Several of the visitor centres in the Geopark are taking part in the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme. Monday – Wednesday get half price food, up to £10 each. Another great reason to visit them!

Cob House Country Park, Wichenford

National Trust

Brockhampton

Croome

Dudmaston

Kinver Edge

Worcester Cathedral

Some venues, such as National Trust, require pre-booking.

Cappuccino and Geology Trail

Our Cappuccino Trail is still going, linking up venues in the Geopark where you can get a good cup of coffee (or tea) and also discover more about the local Geology. Each of the venues listed has an excellent cafe and a trail you can pick up (some free, some charged for) to help you explore. So have a look at the venues and plan you next visit!

Details about venues can be found on their website, links below

Severn Valley Country Park

Wyre Forest Centre

Bewdley Museum

Hartlebury Castle & Museum

NT Dudmaston

Severn Valley Railway

Cob House Country Park

Malvern Hills GeoCentre

Worcester Cathedral

Locations Map

New map of the Geopark with locations

Partner Profile – Severn Valley Country Park

An oasis of calm and beauty on the banks of the River Severn, this Green Flag award-winning 51 hectare country park is dedicated to the quiet enjoyment of the countryside by all the family. The park spans both sides of the longest river in the country and its woodlands, ponds and meadows provide a home for many species of plants and animals.

Severn Valley Country park

Severn Valley Country park

This part of the Severn Valley used to be a centre of industry. Sandstone quarried from the area was used to build part of Worcester Cathedral and would have been loaded onto trows (flat-bottom barges) on the river. Coal mining started in Highley in 1878. Production was switched to Alveley in 1936. At its peak the mine employed 1,000 men and produced 300,000 tonnes of coal a year. Mining ceased in 1969 and the area was badly scarred by spoil heaps. Following the closure of the mine, the spoil heaps and land lay derelict until 1986. Shropshire County Council and Bridgnorth District Council embarked on an ambitious project to reclaim the land, installing drainage ditches, re-grading the spoil heap and planting trees. Severn Valley Country Park opened in 1992 and is now managed by Shropshire Council.

Severn Valley Country Park

Severn Valley Country Park

On-site facilities include:

  • Extensive network of footpaths and bridleways
  • Waymarked trails including the Riverside Trail, Woodland Trail and Highley Trail.
  • Easy-access trail designed for all abilities, including a fully accessible bird hide
  • Permanent orienteering course
  • Route 45 cycle trail between Bridgnorth and Bewdley
  • Toilets
  • Picnic areas
  • Parking at Alveley and Highley

 

The park also boasts a fantastic visitor centre with plenty of information about the history and wildlife of the area. There is also a kid’s corner with activities for younger people to enjoy while mum and dad relax with a well-earned cup of tea and a slice of delicious home-made cake! The Visitor Centre and teashop is open every Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day). It is open 7 days a week during the school holidays. Opening times are April to October: 11am-5pm & November to March: 11am-4pm.

 

The park can offer educational activities for school groups, ranger led birthday parties and also a full year round events programme. In addition, every Tuesday our conservation volunteers meet to help maintain the high standards of the park for our visitors.

Severn Valley Country park

Severn Valley Country park

Highlights of the park include:

 

Spring Pieces Hay Meadow

This is a quieter area of the park. It was not affected by the mining. The hay meadow here is a fantastic place to see wildflowers such as rare adder’s tongue fern, orchids and yellow rattle. Walk through the buttercups and see butterflies and bumblebees lazily flying around in the sunshine. Elfin Pool is a fantastic place to bring a net and go pond-dipping. Look out for green woodpeckers flying around the meadows, feeding on yellow meadow ants.

 

Hall Close Coppice

This is our area of semi-natural ancient woodland. It is managed by coppicing small areas of hazel and alder and allowing them to re-grow. This encourages wildlife like the rare dormouse, a secretive little creature with a fluffy tail that lives in the trees. Take a walk through the shady woodland in May and experience the sight and smell of a bluebell carpet.

 

Station Road Site

This site marks the location of the first mine shaft that was sunk in Highley. There is a pit wheel that was erected by the people of Highley in 1994 as a memorial to the hard-working men who were at the core of this community. An excellent footpath through the site leads down past the picnic area and pond and through the woodland to Highley Station.

 

The River Meadows

The riverside meadows are great places to see invertebrates including the rare club-tailed dragonfly. Wander through the orchard in autumn and sample some of the local provenance apples that grow here. The bridge over the river was rebuilt in 2006. It is an excellent place to see bats hunting as the sun sets over the valley. The original bridge was built to take coal and miners across the river and was the first concrete cantilever bridge of its kind in the world.

 

The Sidings

The paths here were part of the original tramway route taking coal to be washed, graded and loaded onto trains. The ground has been made up into embankments. The woodland is dominated by trees such as silver birch and willow that have seeded. It is a good place to see woodland birds such as nuthatch, tree creeper, blue tit and great tit.

 

Easy Access Nature Trail and Wetland

This trail leads round a beautiful pond with mallards, coots and moorhen bobbing amongst the lily pads. At the end of the trail is a bird hide that overlooks the wetland. The reeds are cut annually to create perfect conditions for wading birds such as water rail.

Severn Valley Country park

Severn Valley Country park

Partner Profile – West Midland Safari Park

Over the coming weeks we thought we’d profile some of the members of the Geopark Forum. We start with West Midland Safari Park.

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West Midland Safari Park is an award winning visitor attraction with four-miles of safari, home to: lions; rhino; cheetah; tigers; giraffe and elephants, naming just a few. There’s a Discovery Trail, with Land of the Living Dinosaurs and showcases a variety of all weather exhibits and live shows. An African Village features Meerkat Mayhem, Goat Walk and walk-through Lemur Woods. The Adventure Theme Park and Tiny Tots Theme Park is ideal for family fun and there are plenty of shops, eateries and public events staged throughout the year. More Info: www.wmsp.co.uk

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West Midland Safari & Leisure Park

Spring Grove

Bewdley

Worcestershire

DY12 1LF

Tel: 01299 402114

Email: info@wmsp.co.uk

 

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Places to Visit

Not only does the Geopark have significant geological value but there exists also a wealth of wildlife, archaeology, industrial heritage and historic buildings. Why not combine the experience of geological heritage and spectacular landscapes with other attractions for all the family.

The uniquely wide-ranging geology of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark is directly responsible for its varied landscape character and the range of habitats and species found within it. Within the Geopark you will find numerous Nature Reserves and parks in which to enjoy nature. Several sites offer opportunity to explore both nature and geology – Severn Valley Country Park, The Wyre Forest, The Malvern Hills and May Hill, to name but a few.

With an abundance of tourist attractions and amenities the Geopark has something to offer everyone. Severn Valley Country Park Visitor Centre, Bewdley Museum, Cob House Fisheries, Bodenham Arboretum, Worcestershire County Museum, Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, the Malvern Hills GeoCentre and Ledbury Heritage Centre all offer information about the Geopark. There are also a number of Tourist Information Centres within the Geopark.