Sherlock Holmes at Severn Valley Country Park

FOUR ACTORS – ONE MYSTERY – NO CLUE

Sherlock Holmes set to visit Severn Valley Country Park later in November with a thrilling new comedy.

Famed for their Shakespeare summer season UK tours, professional Gloucester based Rain or Shine Theatre Company are delighted to be on tour again this winter with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic characters which is booked into theatres, village halls and other community venues across the UK.

After the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Dracula; Rain or Shine are dying to bring you yet another fantastic evening of entertainment with their own individual comedic style! The dynamic duo return to solve one of the Victorian era’s biggest mysteries. Sherlock Holmes and The Curious Case of Dr Jekyll & Miss Hyde.

This Winter join Sherlock Holmes, together with his trusty sidekick Watson, and watch a case unfold that is less elementary, and more fantastical than ever before. Hailed as ‘a delicious mirthfest’ Rain or Shine will once again be reinventing the classic Sherlock Holmes characters using their now signature ‘Morecambe & Wise-ish comedy’ style for another season of mystery, mayhem, but above all multi-role madness! Set in authentic Victorian costume, with a cast of four playing a whole host of characters, Rain or Shine are sure to delight and enchant those new to the tale, and those who already know it.

The tour includes a ‘one night only’ performance in Severn Valley Country Park, Visitor Centre, Alveley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV15 6NG on Thursday 29th November at 7.00pm. This is an indoor performance and will be held in the visitor centre. Tickets priced £10.00 (child £6.00) are available from the venue Tel 01746 781192, or direct from the Rain Or Shine credit card hotline: 03306 600541, e-mail tickets@rainorshine.co.uk or online via www.rainorshine.co.uk.

Severn Valley Country Park - Summer Holiday Activities

There are lots of events at Severn Valley Country Park this summer, including many that are free. Check out their guide to see what’s on offer.

You can find out about our other events for GeoFest in our GeoFest Leaflet.3879618_LRES

‘Al fresco’ theatre at Severn Valley Country Park

Professional theatre company Rain or Shine are set to delight family audiences once again this summer with their production of Shakespeare’s merry war of words and wit – Much Ado About Nothing.

November 1918. The Great War has finally come to end, and the men of the British military forces are returning to their homes. Don Pedro and his comrades are coming at last to Messina (a little known village on the edge of the Cotswolds) where they are met by friends, old and new. Join Rain or Shine Theatre Company this summer, as they visit one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies. From the dastardly Don John, to the daft Sergeant Dogberry, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ will bring you revellers, rascals and romance. Featuring the very best of the Bard’s wit and wisdom, the fiery Beatrice gives Benedick, the bachelor, a battle of words to remember, and true love is at its sweetest as Claudio falls for his darling Hero.

So dig out your hampers and load up your picnic bags for Rain or Shine’s 20th anniversary of summer tours, as the people of Messina find love, scupper mischievous plots and celebrate new found peace across the world!

Sure to delight family audiences from 6 to 96, this is an ideal choice for an outdoor theatrical event, bringing classical theatre into the heart of local communities as they travel across the UK during June July and August. The tour includes a performance in the beautiful setting of Severn Valley Country Park, Alveley, Bridgnorth, WV15 6NG on Friday 10th August at 7.30pm. Tickets from 01746 781192 or via rainorshine.co.uk

Audiences are requested to bring along low-backed seating or rugs, and a picnic to maximise their enjoyment of the al fresco performances. Full details of the tour and venues can be found on the Rain or Shine website and tickets can be purchased from each venue, through Ticketweb via www.rainorshine.uk, or by ringing 0330 660 0541.

You can find out about other events in the Geopark during GeoFest here

Summer Fun at Severn Valley Country Park

Severn Valley Country Park

Shropshire Council rangers at Severn Valley Country Park are getting ready for a summer of fun. This year they will be offering more events than before and the great news is that most of them will be free to join!

Geologists in the Geopark will be with us on 2nd August for a rock and fossil hunt (Child £4, adult free) and on Saturday 18th August, there will be the chance to meet models of enormous ground, burying and dung beetles (free to all).

Every Wednesday and Saturday there will be free craft drop in sessions. These will be held in the visitor centre between 12pm and 4pm. Everything you need will be provided and the kids will be able to make some great items such as sun dials, marvellous masks, slippy slime, krazy kites, silly sock puppets and more.

Each Thursday our rangers will be having a really wild time! Free outdoor sessions will start from the visitor centre at 1.30pm. They will alternate between pond dipping and mini beast safaris throughout the summer.

Also, on Saturday 28th July, Peter Williamson (BBC Radio Shropshire Astronomer) will be with us to help visitors discover the magic of the sun. From 2pm-5pm, there will be special scopes available in the centre to view the Sun and they’ll be chance to make a stomp rocket with Shropshire Astronomy Group. In the evening there’ll be a talk by Mr Williamson about how the sun works and how to get into solar astronomy (£3 Adult, £2 child).

A highlight of the summer is the open air theatre production by Rain or Shine Theatre Company. This year they are celebrating 20 years of touring with a performance of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The play has been set in the First World War and follows fiery Beatrice and bachelor Benedick on their course to true love. Tickets are on sale now, Adult £14, Concession £12 and Child £6.

There will be plenty on offer this summer, including a self-led trail, available daily between 11am-4pm, which will follow Billy the Park Ranger Bear as he learns how to be a ranger. (Maps £2 from the visitor centre.)

The visitor centre and café will be open every day of the holidays from Wednesday 18th July to Sunday 2nd September between 11am-5pm. Light lunches, tasty cakes, refreshing drinks and ice creams will all be available.

Race Against A Train!

Jon Brown (manager of Golden Lion), Sarah Fortune (Shropshire Council Outdoor Partnerships Team) and Charlotte Holden (Holdens Brewery)

There’s a new running event where you can have a go racing a stream train! Shropshire Council, StuWeb Events and Severn Valley Railway are organising the race called ‘Steaming down the Valley’ on the evening of Thursday 28th June. The off-road route will follow the Severn Way between Severn Valley Country Park and Arley Station, a distance of around 3.5 miles.

The Golden Lion pub in Bridgnorth, owned and managed by Holdens Brewery, has sponsored the new running event meaning that runners can enjoy a refreshing pint of Holdens Golden Glow after racing a steam train down the Severn Valley!

Edward Andrews of Shropshire Council said, “This stretch of the Severn Valley is a great area for running, being traffic-free and scenic. Runners will also get a bonus one-way steam train ride. I would urge people to enter early to avoid disappointment”

Lewis Maddox of Severn Valley Railway said, “The team on the Railway are very excited about this event. It is the first time that one of our engines has raced a group of runners and it should be a closely-fought battle”

The entry price for the event is £20 and that includes a wonderful chip-timed trail run against the train, parking at Severn Valley Country Park, a medal, goody bag, 1-way steam train ride and a burger and beer. Runners can enter online at www.stuweb.co.uk/race/1Qt or can visit the event webpage at www.steamingdownthevalley.com

There will be two heats (one starting at approximately 7pm and one starting at around 8pm) and registration is at Severn Valley Country Park in Alveley.

Walk on the Wild Side

The team at Severn Valley Country Park would like to invite visitors to join them on a guided wild flower walk on Saturday 9th June and Sunday 17th June, 2pm-3pm.

Usually at this time of year, their lovely Spring Pieces wild flower meadow is in full bloom with beautiful displays of common spotted orchids, ox-eyed daisies, buttercups, yellow rattle and, on occasion, adder’s tongue fern. Severn Valley Country Park is definitely the place to discover a large selection of native wild flowers.

The walk will be easy paced with plenty of stops to look at the wild flowers and wild life on the walk to the meadow. There will be plenty of opportunity to take photographs of the flowers so please bring your camera.

The knowledgeable guide will identify the different species for you and give you tips to help you improve your own ID skills.

Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Meet at the visitor centre at 2pm on Saturday 9th June and Sunday 17th June. Booking is advisable (please call 01746 781 192), but do feel free to turn up on the day.

Severn Valley Country park

Family Star Gazing Night at Severn Valley Country Park

 

Saturday 28th April 2018, 7.30-9.30pm

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Shropshire Council Outdoor Partnerships Team are delighted to welcome back renowned photographer of the night sky, Peter Williamson, to Severn Valley Country Park for a magical evening of star gazing in the clear skies of the Severn Valley.

Peter is the BBC Radio Shropshire Astronomy Correspondent. The evening will begin with Peter giving a slide show of his amazing images of the night sky. He will also show people the different constellations that are visible during the winter months.

Example of Peter’s photos

Other members of Shropshire Astronomy Group will also be present with a number of telescopes. Weather permitting, there will be opportunity to take a look at the stars and planets overhead with expert supervision. The Visitor Centre at Severn Valley Country Park benefits from panoramic views over the Severn Valley and dark skies.

The event is suitable for all ages (including children over 8). Adults £8, Children under 16 £6, Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £25. Included in the ticket price is soup and a roll. Members of the Shropshire Great Outdoors Membership scheme get a 10% discount.

To book a place, please call the park on 01746 781192

Severn Valley Country park

Mindfulness and Meditation: What’s it all about?

Severn Valley Country Park is working with fully qualified ‘British School of Meditation’ teacher, Mandy Clarke to unravel the mysteries of mindfulness and mediation to their visitors.

Research has shown that people’s day-to-day busy lifestyles could benefit from taking time to de-stress through mindfulness and meditation. It is said it is essential for personal wellbeing to take a few minutes each day to achieve a positive mind-body balance which will help people cope better with causes of stress and anxiety.

During the course, to be held on Saturday 17th February, Mrs Clarke will help visitors discover the benefits of mindfulness and as well as help them to learn a variety of meditation techniques. There will be discussions around what meditation is and help dispel myths that surround both disciplines. In addition there will be an overview of several different types of meditation as well as guided meditations and mindfulness tips.

The course will be held in the visitor centre at Severn Valley Country Park on Saturday 17th February 9.45am-11.15am. It is £7.50 (including refreshments). Booking is essential as there are limited places on the course. Payment required at time of booking. Please call 01746 781 192. If the course proves popular, they will continue with Mindfulness and Meditation Beginners Part 2, Intermediate Part 1 and Intermediate Part 2. Dates and times to be confirmed.

Cuan Wildlife Rescue talk at Severn Valley Country Park

If you have ever wanted to know more about the valuable work Cuan Wildlife Rescue do, then join Shropshire Council rangers at Severn Valley Country Park on Thursday 8th February. Members of the Cuan Wildlife Rescue team will be on site to give an illustrated talk about the varied work they do.

Cuan Wildlife Rescue take in sick, injured or orphaned wild animals and birds, with the aim of nursing them back to health and releasing them back into the wild. In fact, great emphasis is placed on returning the animals to the area they were found to ensure they are back in familiar hunting ground and on their own territory.

Annually over 2,500 animals and birds are admitted to the centre which means Cuan Wildlife Rescue need to raise £100,000 each year for day-to-day running costs. As a registered charity, they are dependent on donations from the public and businesses. The money raised goes towards staff costs, medical treatment and supplies, food, bedding, transport, heating, lighting and more. In addition to this they are the only rescue centre in Shropshire which offers round the clock service

Visitor centre manager Susie Comaish says, ‘Cuan Wildlife Rescue recently helped us when an injured Tawny owl was found on one of our meadows. After spending 4 weeks at the rescue centre, the owl was successfully returned to the park and released in the same area it had been found. We are happy to

be able to give our visitors the change to learn more about the work Cuan Wildlife Rescue do.’

The talk will be held in the visitor centre at Severn Valley Country Park on Thursday 8th February 2018, 7.30pm-9pm. Adults £3.00, Child £2.00. Price includes hot drink and biscuits. Please call 01746 781 192 to book your place to find out more about this great organisation.

Barn Owl visiting Severn Valley Country Park

Shropshire Council rangers at Severn Valley Country Park are delighted to be welcoming the chairman of World Owl Trust for an evening talk held in the visitor centre. Alan Peace will be giving an illustrated talk examining the plight of the barn owl. This beautiful bird is the most endangered owl in the UK.

The World Owl Trust (WOT) runs conservation programmes both nationally and internationally which help protect populations of endangered owls. WOT look at the environmental problems which impact the habitats favoured by owls as well as impacts to food sources. WOT are working hard to restore such habitats and have had success with increasing numbers of European Eagle Owl as well as the Barn Owl.

The Trust is a registered charity and it relies on donations received as well as the work of volunteers.

Accompanying Mr Peace will be Barny the Barn Owl and, hopefully, Indie the Long Eared Owl.

Visitor centre manager, Susie Comaish said, ‘Currently we are looking to fund a barn owl tower which will help attract these beautiful birds to the park. This will be a fascinating talk about the work of the World Owl Trust and we hope our visitors will enjoy it.’

The talk will be held in the visitor centre on Thursday 7th December 2017. 7.30pm-9pm. Tickets are £3.00 adults, £2.00 children. Price includes hot drink and biscuits.

Please call 01746 781 192 to book your place.

Dracula comes to Severn Valley Country Park

DRACULA is set to visit Severn Valley Country Park on 1st December.

Rain or Shine Theatre Company proudly present a new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s famous Gothic fantasy… With a twist!

After their success last winter as ‘a delicious mirthfest’ with the much celebrated comic version of ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’, Rain or Shine are dying to bring you yet another Classic novel in their own individual comedic style by raising the stakes by expanding on their new brand of ‘Morecambe & Wise-ish comedy’ with another season of mystery, mayhem, but above all multi-role madness!

Dracula 1897 : Transylvania… A lone English solicitor makes an ill-fated visit to an important client at a remote and mysterious castle. Soon afterwards, Count Dracula moves to London, where a bizarre plague begins to stalk its inhabitants. Can our intrepid team led by maverick-doctor Professor Abraham Van Helsing prevent the infamous Count from getting his fangs into everyone before his grip over the people of London proves fatal?

An atmospheric tale of maidens in distress, dark nights and vampires is here presented by Rain or Shine as you’ve never seen it before…promising a fang-tastic evening with lots of bite.

Set in authentic Victorian costume, with a cast of four playing a whole host of characters, Rain or Shine are sure to delight and enchant those new to the tale, and those who already know it.

The tour includes a ‘one night only’ performance in the Severn Valley Country Park, Alveley on Friday 1st December at 7.00pm. Tickets priced £10, child £6, are available from 01746 781192 or direct from the Rain Or Shine credit card hotline: 0330 660 0541, e-mail tickets@rainorshine.co.uk or online via www.rainorshine.co.uk.

‘Al fresco’ theatre at Seven Valley Country park – come ‘Rain or Shine’

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Professional theatre company Rain or Shine, hailed by ‘The Stage’ asone of the best companies touring open air theatre” are set to delight family audiences once again this summer with their production of Shakespeare’s cross-gartered and hilarious cross-dressing comedy Twelfth Night, as they ‘transport’ you to a land where nothing is quite what it seems.

“What country, friends, is this?” Have you ever found yourself in yourself in a strange place, surrounded by strange people, taking extraordinary measures to find your way? That’s the situation Viola finds herself in when, shipwrecked and separated from her brother, she sets foot upon Illyria’s sandy shore. Lost and alone, she disguises herself as a man and sets forth. Before long, chaos ensues as mistaken identity, love, pride and alcohol set a host of much loved characters on a series of hilarious adventures. Hopeless romantics, drunken knights, a pompous steward and fools galore abound in one of Mr. William Shakespeare’s most celebrated comedies. “If music be the food of love, play on!”

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Sure to delight family audiences from 6 to 96, this is an ideal choice for an outdoor theatrical event, bringing classical theatre into the heart of local communities as they travel across the UK during June July and August from the Devon to Northumberland, and Wales to Norfolk, visiting some of the country’s most picturesque castles, stately homes and gardens along the way.

The tour includes a performance at Severn Valley Country Park, Alveley on Friday 11th August at 7.30pm. Tickets are available in person from the venue, by ringing 01746 781192, or directly from Rain or Shine on 0330 660 0541 or go online via  www.rainorshine.co.uk.

Audiences are requested to bring along low-backed seating or rugs to maximise their enjoyment of the al fresco performance. Full details of the tour and venues can be found on the Rain or Shine website and tickets can be purchased from each venue, through Ticketweb via www.rainorshine.uk, or by ringing 0330 660 0541.

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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

Severn Valley Country Park

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Description

In this peaceful, scenic valley of the River Severn there awaits a delightful countryside experience. Green Flag award-winning Severn Valley Country Park offers 126 acres of beautiful countryside and wonderful views, spanning both sides of the longest river in the country. The woodlands, ponds and meadows in the park are full of many species of plants and animal, some of them quite rare.

A full events programme is available is available throughout the year. These include guided walks, school holiday activities for children and family events.

The park boasts a fantastic visitor centre and plenty of information about the history and wildlife of the area. The park acts as a gateway to the excellent footpath network through the woodlands and meadows of the Severn Valley, between Bridgnorth and Bewdley. Bring a map, don your boots and discover an ancient sandstone cross, babbling brooks, historical ferries and fantastic geology and wildlife.

History of the Park

Now an oasis of peace and tranquillity, this part of the Severn Valley used to be a centre of industry. Sandstone quarried from this area was used to build part of Worcester Cathedral and would have been loaded onto trows on the river. Coal mining started in Highley in 1878. Production was switched to Alveley in 1936. At its peak the mine employed 1000 men and produced 3000,000 tonnes of coal a year. It shut down in 1969.

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 heaps and planting trees. Severn Valley Country Park opened in 1992 and is now managed by Shropshire Council.

Geology and Landscape

Highley and Alveley form part of the Wyre Forest Coalfield, an area covering 50 square kms.  Since medieval times the various rock types making up the coalfield have been mined and extracted contributing both to the economy and character of the area.

Highley Colliery was established in 1878/9 by the Highley Mining Company, HMCo, and stayed open until 1969. The coal seam being mined lay at a depth of 300yds and was 4ft thick. Initially it would have been worked by hand under the light of the candle, production relying solely on the strength and skill of the miners. By the 1930s HMCo had deployed the use of mechanical cutters and a mechanised underground haulage system.

Coal comes in a variety of grades, the quality being dependant on the environment and conditions under which it formed. Highley Colliery coal was of a high grade so was sold for household use.

The Formation of Coal

Cyclothem diagram

Cyclothem diagram

Coal is a sedimentary rock formed from the remains of trees and vegetation and requires specific conditions for its formation:-

  • There must be plenty of vegetation living (and dying) nearby
  • The dead plant material must accumulate in a swampy environment lacking in oxygen (this is to prevent the breakdown of the dead vegetation into soil).
  • The accumulated vegetation must be sealed in by sediment above, such as sand or clay
  • The vegetation has to be deeply buried. It is the heat and compression imposed by deep burial that brings about the formation of coal

Coal typically forms in a delta environment. This dynamic environment produces the sequence of rock types associated with coal formation, known as a  Cyclothem.

Carboniferous sandstone exposed along a footpath (former tramway) in SVCP

Carboniferous sandstone exposed along a footpath (former tramway) in SVCP

It was 345 million years ago, during the period of time known geologically as the Carboniferous that such conditions existed here in Britain.  During the Carboniferous, the area now known as Highly was sitting astride the equator experiencing a warm and humid climate.  Lush vegetation grew in the resultant swampy conditions.

Coal was not the only Carnoniferous rock from this area that has been extracted for commercial gain over the ages. Sandstone too has been quarried and used as building stone and tiles. The sandstone formed around 300 million years ago from sand particles that travelled from the south in rivers before being deposited in the delta.  As the river entered into this larger mass of water its energy decreased forcing it to deposit the sand particles it was carrying.  Over time great quantities of sand accumulated. This sand was then buried turning loose material into hard rock.

The River Severn

The River Severn running through the Country Park. In geological terms the river is a very recent addition having carved out its course over the last 12,000 years

The River Severn running through the Country Park. In geological terms the river is a very recent addition having carved out its course over the last 12,000 years

It comes as a surprise to discover that a feature as large and important as the River Severn is so recent an addition to the Parks landscape. Before the final phase of the Ice Age the upper Severn flowed roughly north-east from its Mid-Wales source on Plynlimon to the sea near the present Dee estuary. The last glacial period, the Devensian, started around 30,000 years ago. An ice sheet travelled from the north and west across the Cheshire Plain and north Shropshire coming to rest against the higher ground of the south Shropshire hills. From the front of the ice sheet poured melt-water carrying silts, sands, gravels and pebbles which spread down the shallow valley (actually the headwaters of a tributary of the River Stour) to the south. Beneath the glacier large quantities of summer melt-water, laced with pebbles, scoured networks of channels into the underlying solid rock.

By 12,000 years ago the ice sheet had receded. The majority of the scoured channels became filled with sands and gravels. One in particular did not though and served as a main conduit for the large amounts of water flowing from the receding ice sheet in the area, cutting itself deeper and deeper. This channel became the world heritage site of Ironbridge Gorge, which lies 14 miles north of the Park. With the receding icesheet now blocking its old northerly course towards the Dee, the River Severn established a meandering easterly course through Shrewsbury and to the Ironbridge Gorge before turning south into the head-water valley of the the River Stour.

The lower terraces of the Severn are glacial valley train terraces. The power of the torrents which deposited the terrace gravels is illustrated by the size of some of the rock fragments carried. These can be boulders of more than one tonne in weight.

Explore the Geology and Landscape of Severn Valley Country Park

  • Section 2 of the Geopark Way also available as an App. The app has a map of the section overlain on an interactive geology map. Using GPS you get your position and a feed of data about the geology and other information as you walk. Other information’ includes photos of the walk with directional guidance, 3D cross-sections, and interpretations of past environments.Created by BrooksDesigns
  • Severn Valley trail:  Bridgnorth to Highley The formation of the Severn Valley between Bridgnorth and Highley

Explore the bedrock and superficial geology of the Severn Valley Country Park area on the British Geological Surveys ‘Geology of Britain Viewer’ – click here to be directed to their webpage

Facilities

There’s lots on offer at the park, so you’re sure to find something to suit you and your family or group:

  • Extensive network of footpaths and bridleways
  • Waymarked trails, including the Geopark Way – Britains long distance geology themed walking 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
  • Visitor centre and toilets
  • Tea shop offering a range of tasty seasonal products, both hot and cold
  • Picnic areas
  • Parking at Alveley and Highley

Opening Times

Park open from dusk till dawn

Visitor Centre and Tea Shop Opening Times:

April – October: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm

November – March: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm

School holidays and bank holidays: Open every day during school holidays and bank holidays (except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

Severn Valley Country Park Photo Gallery

Contact Details