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
The Big Butterfly Count – Waxhill Meadow
St Georges Community Group have got involved with the Big Butterfly Count since 2017. Exploring and recording butterflies in heritage and wildlife sites in the St Georges area, this year the group spread their wings to neighbouring wildlife spaces with support from other community groups and the Co-op Member Pioneer role. Different areas included The Flash at Priorslee, and, Donnington’s and Muxton’s historical wildlife treasure, The Granville Country Park.
The site, recommended by The Friends of the Granville was Waxhill Meadow. The Friends group have been conserving the area for a while so wildflowers, bees and butterflies can thrive.
A local family took the lead on assessing the area for a walk for the Big Butterfly Count to be held on Saturday 3rd August 2019. Here’s what they have to say:-
“Me and my family went to join the Butterfly Count at Granville Nature Reserve, starting at the main car park to Waxhill Meadow. We used the Big Butterfly Count App to record 134 butterflies. We had already assessed the site for the Big Butterfly Count community activity, explored a walk and picked up any litter that was around. On a separate occasion we cleared the pathways of brambles and grass so other people could take part in the walk safely and help butterflies return next year. We enjoyed the experience, learning more about The Granville Nature Reserve and learning about its’ heritage and of The Miner’s cottages once situated on the site. The discovery, exploring, conserving and sharing helped us with our John Muir Award Certificate which was part of the lottery funded Butterfly & Wildlife Project – St Georges”. Diane Wootten.
“We went to Granville Country Park to help butterflies. We met new people. We also did some litter picking to help conservation. We counted butterflies and we also cut some brambles and we helped animals. I enjoyed helping animals. We saw 6 spot Burnet Moths, Gatekeepers, Large White, Painted Lady’s, Peacocks and Meadow Browns. I got a 6 Spot Burnet Moth landed on me and I nearly had it as a pet.” Rebecca Wootten Age 8.
“We went to the Granville Country Park with Louise and loads of different kind of people and we spotted loads of different types of moths and butterflies like:- 6 Spot Burnet Moths, Gate Keepers, Large Whites, Peacocks and Meadow Browns. We also learnt about their many different habitats! (Spring Walk 2019 with Butterfly expert Liz Rogers). We all liked helping all the animals and helping with butterfly conservation to help the butterflies come back next year”. Written by Sarah Louise Age 9.
“The day of the Butterfly Count was beautiful. There was an abundance of different butterfly species recorded. The area was a hum with gentle bee’s and it was really a very tranquil and calming experience. We were joined by Small Woods Trust, Tristan Haynes and local residents. A huge thank-you to Diane Wootten and family for assessing the area for the activity and to the Friends of Granville Country Park for all your hard work in enriching The Granville Country Park for everyone to enjoy.” Louise Bremner Co-op Member Pioneer (Priorslee and Donnington) / St Georges Community Group.
Links to John Muir Trust, Big Butterfly Count, St Georges Community Group, Butterfly & Wildlife Project – St Georges and Co-op Member Pioneer Work.