Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve
Over 400 million years ago, the area where Dudley now stands was covered by coral reefs and tropical seas providing an environment for the famous fossils we find there today. Over 700 types of fossil are known to have come from Wren's Nest. 186 of which were first discovered and described here and 86 are found nowhere else on Earth.
Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve is a classic geological site of exceptional importance.
It is one of the most notable geological locations in the British Isles and visited and studied by geologists from all over the world.
These pages will provide you with information on the site and the activities that take place here.
Fossils and Geology
Over 700 types of fossil are known to have come from Wren's Nest. 186 of which were first discovered and described here and 86 are found nowhere else on Earth.
Friends of Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve
The Friends Of Wrens Nest are time travellers. They often take themselves away from their normal lives to a beach by a tropical lagoon 420 million years ago.
As you travel along the A459 from Sedgley to Dudley, you can't see the sea but you can see the beach! Get up close and you can see the ripples on the bottom of that shallow sea and the coral reef that grew 50 yards away as the water grew deeper. You can see the dead bodies of sea creatures now extinct, but which survived for unimaginable lengths of time before life moved out of the water onto the land.
People in Dudley may think it's normal to have a nature reserve where virtually every rock you pick up has a fossil on its surface - it's not! Dudley is famous throughout the world for its fossils. It could claim to be the birthplace of the science of palaentology back in the 19th Century. Whilst we're at it, it can also claim to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. It's where Abraham Darby was born. Our Seven Sisters Caverns are the only example in the world of surface opening limestone caverns. The first industrial steam engine, which pumped water from mines, was installed here, next to the Wrens Nest, before anywhere else in the world.
You may think that with attractions like these,who needs friends - we do!
How we came into being
Back in late 2006, a small group of us had asked Anna to lead a Limestone Way walk. Halfway through the walk, we asked whether there was a Friends' group we could join, since we were keen to find out more about the Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve and support it in any way we could.
Anna replied that there wasn't a Friends' group,but she'd love to have one! That's all it took! Right there, in the middle of a field adjacent to Tipton Road, Sedgley, 'Friends of Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve' was founded!(now usually referred to as Friends of Wren's Nest - not so much of a mouthful!). Not only did we possess some relevant skills (not only financial, because we had an accountant and a banker with us on that particular walk, but the legal and secretarial professions were also represented), we also had a burning desire to do what we can to raise awareness of the importance of the Reserve and to safeguard it for future generations.
Anna had previous experience of Friends' groups and knew that these can sometimes be counterproductive - 'Fiends', rather than 'Friends'! We reassured her that this would not be the case with Friends of Wren's Nest: our aim was - and is - primarily to support the Wardens in their work. We recognise that they have the specialist skills and knowledge and all of their decisions are made in the best interests of the Reserve.
We also made a firm decision at the time our group was founded that we should endeavour to make it warm and welcoming, offering a range of activities to suit all interests - walks, talks, fundraising activities, etc.
Many of our number are still in full-time employment, so there is a limit to what we are able to do, but nonetheless, we believe that we have already made a significant contribution to the Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve and our hope and intention is that this should not only continue, but strengthen and grow over the years to come.
Some of our members grew up close to Wrens Nest and have fond memories of playing there as a child, others had perhaps never visited it but now, having discovered its beauty and importance, right here on our doorstep, share our passion.
You'll find out more about the work we - and the Wardens - do elsewhere on this site. Please don't hesitate to come along to any of the events - you are guaranteed a warm welcome!
Friends of Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve - founded in 2006