GWT coronavirus update: during this difficult time, we know how important it is to get outdoors for fresh air, exercise and to immerse yourself in nature. Following recent changes which permit driving to and more frequent exercise, Crickley Hill car park will be opening in the week beginning 18 May.
Please visit with sensitivity and care, and adhere to current government guidelines around social distancing. Wildlife on nature reserves has taken advantage of a quieter time in the countryside to go about their business. In some cases this is happening in unusual places; close to visitor pathways and entrances, so we ask visitors to bear this in mind when visiting GWT sites.
Crickley Hill toilet facilities are now open but the Café and tramper hire will remain closed until further notice. We will be opening these facilities when it is safe to do so, and appreciate your patience and understanding whilst we develop hygiene measures and resources to protect visitors.
Crickley Hill's opening hours are 9:00 - 21:00 and visitors will still need to pay to park.
Crickley Hill, which is jointly managed by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the National Trust, is rich in wildlife and archaeology. Perched high above the city of Gloucester and the Severn Plain, the views are tremendous.
Easily accessible from the A417 and complimented by toilets, a café, and lots of great picnic spots, Crickey Hill is the perfect spot for a few hours or a full day of exploration.
About Crickley Hill
More than 1,300 species have been recorded at Crickley Hill, from rare birds, butterflies and wildflowers to reptiles and toadstools. It has gained national recognition for its wildlife and has the status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its splendid diversity of wildflowers.
As well as being nationally important for wildlife, Crickley Hill has played a notable role in the history of the area. There is evidence of settlements dating back 5000 years and that people lived here at various times until about 500AD. The remains of an Iron Age hill fort, still visible today, are a designated Scheduled Monument
Crickley Hill overlooks the Severn Vale, with magnificent views towards Robinswood Hill and May Hill, and the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains beyond.
Working in the partnership
The Crickley Hill Country Park was established in 1979 with assistance from the Countryside Commission. Since then, visitors have been enabled easy access to limestone grassland, beech woodlands, an archaeological site, and panoramic views.
Today, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the National Trust share joint ownership of the land at Crickley Hill. We work together as custodians of this delicate, much-loved and well-used site; protecting and enhancing Crickley Hill’s special wildlife and archaeology for the enjoyment and benefit of current and future generations.
A417 Road Improvement Scheme
Crickley Hill is set within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding National Beauty and, together with Barrow Wake, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. It's nationally important, thanks to its Iron-Age hill fort (a Scheduled Ancient Monument), ‘time capsule’ archaeology, limestone grassland, ancient woodland and diverse wildlife. For all these reasons, we welcome Highways England’s ambition to develop an effective ‘landscape led’ road scheme that reflects the sensitive environment of this special place.
At present the road divides Crickley Hill from Barrow Wake, Kilkenny and other Local Wildlife Sites along the Cotswold escarpment. We believe Highways England’s proposal to improve this section of the road presents an opportunity to reconnect a disjointed landscape - improving habitats for nature and bringing benefits for people who wish to explore Crickley Hill and the wider landscape.
However, the preferred route announced by Highways England doesn’t yet provide enough protection for Crickley Hill and the surrounding countryside and we are concerned that it will inflict additional harm.