New Pool Hollow walk
This walk starts from Carding Mill Valley at the heart of the Long Mynd and takes you on a gentle walk past the mill ponds and up the reservoir bank.
Carding Mill Valley, grid ref: SO411949
If you are starting from the Chalet Pavilion, follow the stream uphill to the top car park.
The top car park
Filled in in the 1960s, this car park was originally a millpond and popular swimming pool.
Once in the top car park, cross the stream on the sturdy vehicle bridge opposite the green ticket machine. Ahead, the track curves around a spur of the hill, before opening out into a broad side valley. You are now walking along New Pool Hollow, named after two early mill pools.
New Pool Hollow
Wild thyme and sky-blue harebells edge the path in summer. The damper soil beside the stream holds soft rush, marsh thistle, forget-me-not and curious yellow monkey flower, originally from North America. Look out, too, for golden-ringed dragonflies patrolling their territories along the stream.
Keep following the path along New Pool Hollow.
Bodbury Ring hill fort
Along this path you'll come across a small pallisaded area. Go inside and look back on the path you have just walked. As you look up you'll be looking directly at Bodbury Ring hill fort. This hill fort is over 2,500 years old and was in constant use throughout the Iron Age period by the Cornovii tribe. The Cornovii were a Celtic tribe of people found across Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Herefordshire. They used the hill fort to guard their herds of sheep and cattle. From the top of the hill you’d be able to see people coming from miles around. This made Bodbury Hill a very good strategic location.
Within 400 metres, climb the reservoir's retaining bank and cross the stile into the enclosure.
Completed in 1902, this 12-million-gallon reservoir was built to support Church Stretton's aspirations of growth as a fashionable spa. Thickening scrub inside the fence shows how the Long Mynd would soon revert to trees if ungrazed; in contrast, the impoverished bilberry and heather outside the fence is the result of chronic overgrazing in the 1980s and 1990s. Finding the right balance is the only way to ensure the Long Mynd's value and beauty for future generations.
Reservoir, grid ref: SO411949
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