Reserve Name: Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
Address: Pendeford Hall Lane, Wolverhampton WV9 5ET
Phone Number: 01902 397640 or 07771836680
8am to 4pm Mondays to Thursdays – 8am to 3pm Fridays – 10am to 4pm Saturdays and Sundays. Entry is free (unless there is an event being held).
Website: Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
Map Reference: SJ898026
Google Map: Pendeford Mill Reserve
Assessed by: Eve Eccles July 2017
Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve is a site of valuable environmental and historical significance (The Mill was established in 1650 but demolished in 1961). The site covers 24 hectares (59.3 acres) of naturally managed countryside and dates back to the 13th century. It provides a stable and protected habitat for wildlife on the fringe of an urban area. Sadly, the uneven path surfaces make it unsuitable for wheelchair access.
Among the woodland is an impressive Yew tree which experts have aged as 2,000 years old. The tree is also home to a rare species of bat. Nearby are towering Oak trees – a little younger at around 400-years-old. There is a stunning pool with its own island, the fish-filled River Penk and the rest of the reserve give visitors the chance to spot birds, badgers, plants and other wildlife.
There are no public transport links.
Parking & Toilet Provision
There is a free car park and free site entry, although some events may charge a small fee. However, there are no designated disabled bays. The car park is well drained but the pebble surface makes it very difficult for wheelchair users to negotiate.
There are accessible toilets which remain unlocked during opening hours. There are RADAR key accessible ones, but they were not locked during our assessment.
There is no local pay-phone.
There was a leaflet available:
It was unclear whether there are full or part-time staff, but there was an indication that guided walks are possible by prior arrangement but not on Bank Holidays.
The reserve is open from 8am until 4pm Mondays to Thursdays, 8am to 3pm Fridays and 10am to 4pm Saturdays and Sundays. Entry is free (unless there is an event being held). There is a visitor centre which is accessible but has no loop system. It is a small hut with images of the reserves wildlife on the walls.
There are also information boards.
There is a notice saying dogs are not allowed with no indication whether this applies to guide-dogs. Furthermore, and most confusingly, the website says dogs are welcome but MUST be kept on leads. The Leaflet says no dogs except at events and then only on leads. Someone needs to sort this confusion out!
Description of Habitat & Facilities
This is a very pretty reserve well managed for conservation with woodland, lake and meadow. There is a good variety of common bird species, mammals and a wealth of trees and natural plants.
With a little thought it could easily be made more accessible to ALL the public, not just the able-bodied.
Trails are mostly unsuitable for wheelchairs and can de difficult for the ‘hard of walking’. Typical woodland paths are compacted earth with leaf litter.
Although they are all sufficiently free of overhanging branches, wide and flat, there are places where tree roots are a hazard.
The use of a tractor on these trails means that they leave tracks where they have churned the surface making it uneven
There are no ‘wheelchair friendly’ barriers.
Other paths are simply grassed with some bare patches.
There are no provided resting places or benches, although there are some logs left lying in place that can be used to sit on.