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Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Trail Waymarking:


Length of trail:

2 miles

Trail is currently open

Map of Mortimer Forest Trails


Trail description

Mary Knoll Valley, Mortimer Forest.This trail runs within an area of the forest called 'Evens' and provides the walker with good views down Mary Knoll Valley and beyond.

Once an ancient woodland the trees are now mostly douglas fir and larch however the Forestry Commission intend to revert the area to native, broadleaved trees over the coming decades through a programme of felling, natural regeneration and replanting.

There are five benches along the trail.

What do other visitors say?

3 Stars 3 Stars

My wife and I are keen walkers but have only just discovered Mortimer Forest which is a delight. But visitors have to grapple with the eternal problem of signage. Oddly, it isn't that there's too few signs (they are plentiful) but many are in unnecessary locations (such as on a straight path with no turnings) while others are absent or unclear at key spots (such as trail junctions). This is the case on both the Vinnalls Loop and the Whitcliffe Loop (the only trails we have tried so far), both sets of signs having seemingly been designed/laid-out/erected by the same person/team. The irritation starts even before reaching the trails as the roadside signs for both car parks - travelling from the Ludlow direction - are on the nearside, with the risk of over-shooting the entrances despite advanced warning. Re-erect them on the offside of the road; problem solved! The signage saga even extends to the Forestry Commission building on the Whitcliffe car park itself. Visitors are curtly informed that there are no public toilets at the offices which seems churlish and unwelcoming. (Why not just build some? Or couldn't those in desperate need use the staff facilities?). In addition, a sign asking dog-owners to prevent their pets fouling the grassed area around the offices (and near the picnic tables). What on earth is the point of this? Walkers (with or without dogs; I don't have one) are overwhelmingly highly responsible and considerate, and the minority who are not will not instantly change into angels by being shouted at by a sign. It is clear that much time, trouble and expense has been invested in the signage at Mortimer Forest, but it does really need a fresh pair of eyes on it. I stand ready to offer my services (free of charge) to walk the trails with a warden and point out where I think there are failures. He/she will need a big clipboard!

Robert Haywood, 4/Jul/2016

Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately there is an issue with visitors allowing their dogs to foul the area around the picnic tables and offices, especially leaving bags of waste. We are not always available to be onsite to communicate these issues with the visiting public in person so have to rely on signage. It is a cheap and often effective tool. With regards to toilets; building public toilets in the woods is a costly and difficult exercise at a time when public sector resources are being increasingly squeezed. The toilets in the office building are not suitable for public use. I expect the sign has been displayed to allow the few staff who work in the building to be able to convey this without staff needing to repeatedly explain this. I'm sorry you do not like the forest signage for the trails, we do keep this constantly under review and are usually told we don't have enough. Please remember the forest is constantly changing. Harvesting operations open up tracks, deer make paths through the woods and signage may have been added in response to trails not visible when the forest is in full growth as it currently is. Visitors coming to the forest for the first time also appreciate the reassurance of way marker posts, even where there are no junctions. We place our road side signage where land ownership, highway regulations and practicality allow. Both Whitcliffe and Vinnalls car parks have signage before the entrances, 100yds in advance for Whitcliffe and 200yds for Vinnalls.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Magical walk but what is the origin for the name Mary Knoll? There is no local explanation and nothing on the internet apart from an obvious unrelated US organization with the same name.

Richard Dobson, 20/Feb/2015

I have looked into it also and not been able to find out either. I would expect the name of the valley precedes the name of the forest (the Forestry Commission named the forest in the 1920s when the forest we see today was planted).

Forestry Commission Response

I'm visiting Shropshire for the first time soon. The colour-coded "Map of Mortimer Forest Trails" pdf would be really useful to me; but the individual trails' colours - as shown in the key - do not tie up with the map, all of whose trails are only shown in green, as far as I can see. Please can you fix this asap? Thanks.

Seth, 29/Jul/2014

I've had a check and the trails are clearly shown as dotted routes in the respective colours, anything pale green and not dots is a forest road or track.

Forestry Commission Response
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OS Grid ref: SO480730
Postcode: SY8 2HD

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Nicola Cowell
Recreation Ranger
0300 0676977

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.