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May 8, 2024

A Guide to the Staffordshire Countryside

StokeonTrent countryside

Hitch your bus ride from Hanley and head directly to The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, where you’ll discover the Staffordshire Hoard, an astounding collection of Anglo-Saxon metalwork discovered during excavation.

Stoke-on-Trent is a well-known shopping destination, featuring both high street brands and independent shops. Additionally, its city centre hosts various markets and vibrant market squares where visitors can discover one-of-a-kind fashion items and local treasures.

The River Trent

The River Trent is an exceptional natural feature and plays an essential part in both Stoke-on-Trent’s economy and cultural heritage. It serves as an oasis for many wildlife species as well as being an important migratory bird route, yet more needs to be done to protect this river for future generations. Despite existing efforts at its protection, much more remains to be done if its future is secure.

The Trent is England’s third longest river, at 185 miles (298 kilometers). Originating in Staffordshire Moorlands and winding its way through six towns and cities before emptying into Humber Estuary. Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley Shelton Fenton and Stoke-on-Trent all lie along its course.

Though urbanisation has had an adverse impact on its ecosystem, the Trent remains a rich biodiversity hotspot and home to several protected species such as otters, kingfishers and wild brown trout.

Attracted both locals and tourists alike, this river offers excellent fishing opportunities. Fish species that may be found here include roach, bream, dace, carp, barbel, and salmon.

As well as providing vital water sources, the River Trent serves as an integral floodplain that reduces flood risk in surrounding communities and supplies essential nutrients for local agriculture. Unfortunately, its ecosystem remains highly susceptible to impacts caused by climate change and human activity.

The Trent River runs over mudstone bedrock that is abundant with natural resources and has high biodiversity value, yet this invaluable natural resource is being severely compromised by river silt and pollution from industrial and agricultural activities. Therefore, it is paramount that we work tirelessly to safeguard this incredible natural asset.

Explore the beautiful countryside surrounding Stoke-on-Trent with our range of tours and adventures! From historic treasures at Potteries Museum to treetop adventures at Trentham Gardens, there are numerous ways to get out and discover. Plus, take advantage of our great value bus tickets for unlimited travel in the area – simply add one to your train ticket and start discovering!

Biddulph Moor

Biddulph Moor is an idyllic part of Staffordshire Moorlands and home to some renowned landmarks, such as Bridestones Tomb and Talbot Inn Duck Pond – both used during English Civil War by local villagers as cannonball receptacles! Biddulph Moor also boasts many bridle paths, lanes and tracks making it perfect for walking and cycling adventures alike.

Location: To the north of Stoke-on-Trent and east of Cheshire; Biddulph Grange Country Park was once heavily wooded; clearances have allowed cereal crops to flourish here. Iron ore and coal deposits were discovered underground during the 17th century and this led to industrial growth; now Biddulph Grange hosts both retail and commercial outlets as well as its main industrial site, Biddulph Grange Country Park which recently underwent major redevelopment with an artificial lake installation.

The village takes its name from either Saxon/Old English bi dylfe (meaning “beside the pit or quarry”), or from Bidulfe which may mean “wolf slayer”, thus explaining why its town crest features an image of an attacking wolf rampant.

Gillow Heath lies within a valley bounded by Mow Cop to the west and Biddulph Moor to the east, and includes the hamlets of Gillow Heath, Knypersley, Brown Lees and Bradley Green. Biddulph Moor towers over 300 metres above sea level and offers breathtaking views across Staffordshire, Cheshire plains as well as Welsh mountains on clear days.

Biddulph Moor is home to numerous ancient burial mounds and the Biddulph Stone Circle. Recently, this area has been the focus of various archaeological investigations; findings include medieval pottery fragments as well as remnants from a 13th-century Saxon church which now lies abandoned. Churnet Sound radio also operates out of this village and broadcasts DAB radio broadcasts throughout South Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Hem Heath Woods

Hem Heath Woods, also known as New Park Plantation and Hem Heath Coppice, is the largest woodland in urban Stoke-on-Trent and provides visitors with an idyllic green haven away from city center noise and bustle. Owned by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Hem Heath Woods employs traditional woodland management practices such as selectively felling trees to encourage new sapling growth over time and form the canopy canopy over time.

The woods have an intriguing past. Trentham Estate account books document regular sales of cratewood to pottery manufacturers located both in Longton and Hem Heath. In order to facilitate delivery of this cratewood to Longton potteries and Hem Heath’s village potteries in Hem Heath, an early 1870s road was created from Trentham-Longton turnpike road through New Park Plantation’s northern boundary – becoming the primary route into Hem Heath Woods replacing what had previously been chosen as main access route – this road now leads directly into Hem Heath Woods instead of railway bridge which had previously been the preferred access route into Hem Heath Woods.

Since Hem Heath Woods are situated close to industrial activity and housing developments, it is especially vital that we use traditional woodland management practices in order to preserve this great habitat. We aim to achieve this by encouraging an understorey of woody shrubs such as hazel, rowan and beech trees alongside oak, ash and beech trees – this helps provide diverse habitats for wildlife that lives there.

Hem Heath Woods offers plenty of paths and good signage, providing ample opportunity for walking. However, due to muddier areas nearer rainy periods we recommend wearing sturdy footwear. Hem Heath Woods is home to an abundance of woodland birds and mammals including red squirrels and otters as well as butterflies, wildflowers and fungi found throughout the year – an enchanting setting ideal for short strolls or longer circular walks with free parking at World of Wedgwood visitor centre nearby.

Hanchurch Woods

Hanchurch lies on a plateau formed of Sherwood sandstones overlooking Trentham Park and boasts picturesque surroundings and an intimate ambience, ideal for escape from urban living. Hanchurch boasts both charming cottages and large family homes for rent or sale within its borders.

Hanchurch offers excellent primary and secondary schools, making it an excellent choice for families with children. Furthermore, nearby Staffordshire University makes Hanchurch an attractive option for students.

This idyllic countryside is a beloved outdoor enthusiast’s playground, offering picturesque trails for exploration. The woods are filled with oak and ash trees that provide shade from the sun as well as shelter from wildlife such as squirrels and birds. Additionally, several historical buildings such as Hanchurch Manor can be found within its boundaries.

Hanchurch is an ideal spot for anyone seeking a peaceful and relaxing retreat. The wooded areas offer excellent opportunities for hiking, biking and enjoying wildlife spotting; Hem Heath and Biddulph villages also boast many restaurants and bars for dining out or drinking locally. Hanchurch also lies conveniently close to M6 motorway for convenient commuter access when working in Stoke on Trent city center.

The Hanchurch Hills walk offers an idyllic way to experience this scenic countryside. Starting from Hanchurch Pools picnic site and continuing through woodlands, fields, and farms en route to Hanchurch Lake, it is an eight-mile figure-of-eight route with moderate climbs and stunning vistas – perfect for anyone who enjoys moderate climbs with incredible scenery!

This area forms part of the Bishops and Swynnerton Forest Plan, and comprises Big Bishops, Little Bishops, Burnt Wood, Tittensor, and Swynnerton Old Park woodlands. These woodlands provide habitat to birds, bats, insects and many more species of wildlife that make this an attractive space to reside in.

The woods offer prime hunting grounds for fallow deer, along with scenic vistas of the surrounding landscape. Furthermore, summer brings vibrant wildflowers like yellow meadow buttercup and lupin that add color and vibrancy.

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