Know before you go
Parking informationParking can be found in laybys around the Common and a small car park which can be found at WS15 4RU, opposite the redmoor inn
A network of paths crossing the heathland which can be muddy and uneven in places
There are a network of paths crossing the heathland. Can be muddy and uneven in places
There are no gates on the site
When to visit
Opening timesAll day
Best time to visitAugust to August
About the reserve
- Visit the site in August and enjoy the purple splendour of this lowland heathland
- Gentleshaw Common SSSI is a key part of the network of nationally important heathland sites throughout the West Midlands
- Volunteer community practical conservation sessions have just begun on the Common to give local people the opportunity to get involved in the management of their local nature reserve
Staffordshire’s Healthland Gems
The Common is one of the largest areas of lowland heath in Staffordshire, covering 86 hectares. Gentleshaw Common’s status as one of the UK’s best wildlife sites was reflected in its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1981. Habitats like this with heather, bilberry, cowberry and beautiful fine grasses such as wavy hair grass support a wide range of insect and bird life. Gentleshaw Common is one of an arc of heathlands in this part of Staffordshire stretching from Sutton Park on the horizon in front of you up to Cannock Chase.
Brilliant Wet Heath Habitat
Lying in the centre of the reserve is a valley of wet heathland which harbours a great array of wetland plants including the rare bog asphodel, cross leaved heath, cranberry and the carnivorous sundew. The large areas of purple moor grass that dominates the area will be intensive managed so it to reduce its impact upon the more fragile rarer plant species.
The acidic nature and sandy soils of Gentleshaw Common provide an ideal habitat for numerous invertebrates including, the under recorded, solitary mining bees which create the small holes that can be seen along sandy paths. The Common also includes an impressive disused sandstone quarry, which with its exposed south facing slopes provides a valuable habitat for a plethora of invertebrates which is a hive of activity in the spring through to summer.
A Living Landscape
'Living Landscapes' is The Wildlife Trusts innovative approach to nature conservation, and involves focusing our efforts on improving the wider landscape to make it better for wildlife. Find out more here.