The New Falling Sands Nature Area

It’s another day on the marsh, and I’m about to cross the small concrete bridge over Hoo Book, from Hoo Brook Pasture, on my way to the new nature area along the River Stour, immediately north of Wilden Marsh. If the resident troll tries any of his nonsense this morning, barring my way and threatening to eat me, my size 12 wellie will help him on his way downstream whether he wants to go in the direction or not.

The new nature area, owned by Wyre Forest Council, is recovering from churning caused by heavy machinery used during construction of the new Hoobrook bypass bridge. Thankfully the troll didn’t show itself today.

Whata fantastic way of regenerating this hidden and forgotten parcel of land tucked in between the River Stour, Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve, Hoobrook Trading Estate and the Severn Valley Steam Railway Viaduct. This piece of land is part of a wildlife corridor winding its way north through the county.

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The above image shows the extreme southern end of the new nature area. During the 1800s this section of the River Stour was spanned by two full width 12 foot diameter water wheels: one overshot and one undershot. The water wheels powered two rolling mills housed in the Falling Sands Iron Works and Rolling Mills. The area once occupied by the works is now the Severn Trent Sewage Pumping Station.

Churning of soil at the nature area entrance.

So the ground here is pretty bare with a lot of willow scrub taking hold, but the marsh cattle will start grazing this in a week or two.

The new Hoobrook bypass bridge.

The new nature area in the foreground, River Severn and Worcester and Staffordshire Canal in the middle of the image, and landscaping in the background.

A new shiny drinking trough for the exclusive use of the marsh cattle.

This weird shaped concrete hole is a badger tunnel running under the bypass at the start of the bridge. If the river is in flood, and the badgers can’t travel under the bridge, they can use this tunnel. Muntjac deer will be able to use this tunnel, too.

The new nature area north of the new bypass bridge.


The Severn Valley Steam Railway Viaduct crossing the River Stour and Worcester and Staffordshire Canal.

There’s a manmade otter holt buried in the river bank, and otter tracks have been seen around the holt already.

Entrance to the otter holt.

The otter holt is buried under this soil on the river bank.

There are bat boxes here, too.

I think this new wildlife area will prove a positive asset to both Wilden Marsh and the wildlife corridor.

13 Comments on “The New Falling Sands Nature Area

  1. Apart from the litter, this looks like a little paradise. A canal, a viaduct, a badger tunnel and a cattle trough – everything anyone could want.

    In my view, the littler problem, which is terrible on the roads round us, stems from the fact that people don’t think that the country that they pass through has anything to do with them. Partly this is political as they have been told to “Get off my land!” often enough but partly cars isolate drivers from the real world too. Making new and faster roads exacerbates this feeling of course. I am an old curmudgeon and would put a stop to any new road building instantly. More cycle tracks and less roads ought to reduce littering a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like the start of some great conservation work. Love the idea of making a tunnel for the animals and assisting them in their home making. I’ve seen nesting boxes high up on trees here but never tunnels and ground man-made ‘nests’.

    I noticed several lots of rubbish out the back of my apartment block and near the nature reserve the other day and I can’t help but feel angry at the thoughtless (and unnecessary) blight on the landscape. This is one time when I can take down a rubbish bag (and rubber gloves I think) and take it the short distance to my apartment block rubbish bins. I saw it only 2 days ago so I hope there is not more this morning when I go out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is great that these little parcels of land are being reclaimed; like a patchwork nature quilt in the making. Hopefully people will respect it more in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. We should do more. What is needed is more council authorities to press for harder deals from property developers. When property developer’s plans are approved, they must contribute a new nature area for the local community.


    • It might help if local people and nature groups did more to help look after such nature areas, instead of just talking about the wildlife using them. Volunteers and those willing to run such projects are not easily found. People capable of providing the motivation to keep such nature projects going are few and far between. Keep on plugging away at it I suppose.


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