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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?

4 Stars 4 Stars

Looking at a previous users comments we have had similar difficulties. We are seasoned walkers, coming from the Lake District. We wanted a shirt amble in a hot day as we had our elderly Labrador with us and thought the Whitcliffe loop fitted the bill. Parking was free ( we dont get that in our neck of the woods) and everywhere looked tidy and cared for. The paths were wide and clearly marked with the red route we were following. Unfortunately, as a previous person has mentioned. The markers are plentiful on the straight stretches however, on several junctions they were either hidden in the bracken or non existent. We unfortunately got lost and had to use google maps to get back to the car. We met other walkers in similar predicaments. Perhaps a small charge at the car park would pay for staff to walk the routes and ensure they are clearly marked. Still a beautiful walk though

Anonymous, 25/Jul/2018

Thank you for your comments, the tractor is due to go around and cut back, as I think a few are perhaps hidden behind the bracken. Once it is cut I will check the route.

Forestry Commission Response
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

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OS Grid ref: SO480730
Postcode: SY8 2HD

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