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Wood Lane, Ellesmere

There are Talking Rocks in the Wood Lane Nature Reserve! This a sand and gravel pit operated by the Tudor Griffiths Group near Ellesmere in north Shropshire.

The deposits of sand, gravel and clay (including dark greywacke, red speckled granite and light grey carboniferous limestone) have been transported to Wood Lane by glaciers from as far afield as Ireland, Cumbria and North Wales.

At Wood Lane there are 4 huge carved rocks with human faces that tell their own stories. The rocks tell the tale of how the local landscape of meres and hummocky hills and hollows was formed by ice; boulders of granite from the Hebrides in Scotland, dolerites and sandstone from Northern Ireland and limestones from Wales, caught up in massive blocks of ice, shifting over thousands of years and then slowly melting, shaping the land into its distinctive undulations.

The story is told by Irish, Scots and Welsh voices, “I’ve been that bumped and squashed and rubbed by other rocks the ice picked up on its way south, that – if you touch my belly – you’ll find I’m now smooth and rounded in shape. Polished – so that when the light catches me and my pink feldspar crystals, I shine like a real beauty,” says the Scots rock.

The rocks also reminisce ghoulishly about mammoths drowning in pools and share their enthusiasm for birdwatching with listeners, speaking of wetland birds such as greenshank and dunlin, which stop off here on their way to Africa in autumn.

The talking rocks have been created through the Geoparks project, with funding from the Countryside Agency through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund. Tudor Griffiths Group has very kindly donated the rocks and put them in the right places.


YouTube video exploring the Talking Rocks