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Wrens Nest Red Trail

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Wrens Nest Red Trail
Author: Sammy Benbow, Published: 15 Apr 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
West Midlands, Dudley
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Wrens Nest Red Trail
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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This is a 2 mile circular walk around the large limestone outcrop known as the Wrens Nest in Dudley. It starts at the car park on Wrens Hill Road and follows footpaths around the site. The site itself is a former limestone quarry that has since been recovered by nature. The walk offers some excellent views of limestone formations and outcrops and passes through broadleaf woodland. You may also be able to find fossils on the site, which you can take home with you. There are lots of context boards detailing the history of the area, which goes back 420 million years! This walk shows you some of the species that have colonised the area.

There are no stiles on the site but there are quite a few flights of steps, only some of which have handrails and there are a few cut-throughs with a step. Some of the paths are well maintained while others are less so. Some paths will be muddy and have uneven steps. The route is very well signposted throughout - look for the red butterfly symbol.

By car: The Wrens Nest is located on Wrens Hill Road, next to Mons Hill College. There is a small car park, open until 4pm daily, next to The Caves public house. The site is approx a 5 minute drive from the A4123 and approx a 15 minute drive from J2 of the M5. Approximate post code DY1 3SB.

By bus: The X96 bus departs Dudley bus station every 20 minutes, stopping at nearby Wrens Nest Road.

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Walk Sections

Start to Mayfield
Start to Mayfield

Start point: 52.5278 lat, -2.0958 long
End point: 52.5258 lat, -2.091 long

Your walk starts to the left of the small car park by the main signpost, which has details of the walk and a map of the site. Follow the grey gravel path, noticing the ripple beds on your left. As you continue, you may notice loose rocks - be sure to check these for fossils. At the first junction, continue straight, heading towards the gate. Turn left here onto the landing stage, noting the context board named "Silurian Seas". Continue down the steps past the rock faces before heading up the slope.

Follow the path on the left, up the steps then continue round to the right. The curious brick hollow you may be able to see through the bushes on your right is what remains of a limestone kiln. Continue straight, then head down the steps. Follow the path straight, before descending another, longer set of steps. The path bears round to the left. At the junction, notice the large limestone outcrop on your left before continuing straight.

Descend the steps, then turn left at the green fence. As you walk, keep an ear out for the many species of birds that live in the woodland to your left, and an eye out for the many kinds of fungi that live here, including Jew's Ear, Candlesnuff, Turkeytail, Puffball and Giant Chanterelles, to name a few. Continue straight along this path, going through the cut-through, before emerging onto Mayfield Road.

Mayfield to End
Mayfield to End

Start point: 52.5258 lat, -2.091 long
End point: 52.5279 lat, -2.0957 long

Continue straight across the top of Mayfield Road and take the path at the back of the houses, keeping them on your right. This section generally has many birds living in the trees to your left. Continue on until you reach the road. Cross over here, and go through the cut-through, bearing left down the hill towards the context board entitled "Wild Wrosne".

The path here becomes more difficult, so take care. Just after the green cut-through, look for a large tree in a clearing to your left. You may find Cramp Ball fungus on it, which looks like a brown pebble stuck to the side of the tree. The fungus' Latin name, Daldinia concentrica, gives a clue to its growth habit - the fungus adds a layer of growth every year, forming concentric circles when viewed internally. Also keep an eye out for Toothwort, details of which are to be found on the Wild Wrosne context board.

Follow the path, taking care of your footing. At the first junction, follow the path downhill, then at the second, bear left. Follow the path along, up and down the flights of steps, passing the pond on your right. At the junction, follow the signpost to the left, then climb the flight of steps up the hill. At the top, turn right, back on yourself, and follow the path downhill. Continue round to the left, then stick to the level path. Continue straight until you arrive at the road, opposite the car park. Your walk terminates here.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author sammy_benbow and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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