We invite you to explore this large and sprawling network of copses, heaths, grasslands, pools, scrub, wet woodlands and oak capped mounds. The rugged landscape of Granville is the result of over 200 years of industrial upheaval. Coal mines, canals, railways and blast furnaces nearly eliminated the previous agricultural landscape bar a few very important exceptions.
The pit mounds, cuttings, waterways and some very impressive brick and stone work ruins are all that is left of the industry of men like the Dukes of Sutherland and the ordinary men and women who worked for their Lilleshall Company.
Nature has triumphed now, the thick blossoms of the hawthorn, nodding heads of yellow rattle and purple orchid spikes trick the viewer and hide the turbulent past of this tranquil wild landscape.
The Tithe Map of 1840 shows that what is now Muxton Marsh was called ‘Marsh Meadows Leasowes’.
Muxton Marsh SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) is one of a nationally important series of sites designated by Natural England for their importance as a key part of our natural heritage. Muxton Marsh is 7.3 ha in area and has been designated for its superb series of high quality habitats that are rich in species. The habitats change and grade into each other in response to differences in the water levels from west to east across the SSSI.
The western end is an agriculturally unimproved species-rich meadow with yellow rattle, common spotted and southern marsh orchids, hemp agrimony, meadow vetchling and marsh thistle, that teems in summer with butterflies and all sorts on invertebrates including dragonflies. The meadow is managed by Telford & Wrekin Council and is cut every year in mid August with the cut grass removed to ensure low soil fertility that will maintain the wonderful diversity of wildflowers and grasses.
The meadow gets wetter as it slopes down to the marshy area with soft and hard rushes, small sedges, marsh arrow-grass. This habitat changes to a fen with deeper water and tall sedges, yellow iris and greater reedmace.
The brook that feeds the marsh and the fen teems with aquatic life including freshwater shrimp, diving beetles, caddis fly larvae, minnows and frogs.
The eastern part of the SSSI includes the slope of the Donnington Freehold Colliery pitmound with willows and alder typical of wet woodland at its foot and oak and birch woodland on the slope with a characteristic woodland ground flora.
So, grab your coat, put on your walking boots or wellies, fasten the lead on the dog, don’t forget the children and come along to visit the reserve.
Please be careful as you explore and help us to conserve the industrial heritage by not climbing on the structures, thanks.
Main website for the Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Shropshire wildlife trust website
Link to website for the Telford 50 Mile walk which goes through Granville Country Park
Telford 50 mile walk