Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

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The Discovery Centre


This award winning visitor attraction has something for everyone. . .

The friendly staff in the Visitor Information Centre and shop will tell you all about the landscape and history of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the best ways to explore it.

Travel back in time and come face to face with a Mammoth via the Shropshire Hills Through Time Exhibition!

Put your feet up at their award-winning cafe and enjoy a delicious range of hot and cold meals and treats, hand made using locally sourced produce.



Onny Meadows


Onny Meadows contains a paved walkway with various seating areas and a children's play area.

The Onny River and the oxbow ponds provide a variety of breeding habitats for Dragonflies. On warm days you'll also find Dragonflies hunting through the meadows and woodland glades. 

Dragonflies species list:

Common Blue Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Blue-tailed Damselfly

White-legged Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Banded Demoiselle

Beautiful Demoiselle

Broad-bodied Chaser

Four-spotted Chaser

Emperor Dragonfly

Brown Hawker

Southern Hawker

Ruddy Darter

There are likely to be a few species breeding at Onny Meadows that have not yet been discovered. Be sure to report your sightings on iRecord if you spot a new one and email us here so that we can update this list.



Hotspot Activities


Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is our first Dragonfly Hotspot in England, and was launched in May 2018. 

During the spring and summer, each year, the British Dragonfly Society and Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre staff will collaborate to run courses, walks and other events at the new Hotspot. While in the autumn and winter we will support the Hotspot’s volunteer work parties in managing the site to improve its Dragonfly habitats. Keep an eye on our events page for details of future events at this site and how you can get involved.

Next to the pond dipping platform you will find an information board, kindly funded by the John Spedan Lewis Foundation, which was installed by the project to help visitors find out which species they will see at this fantastic site. Our launch event was a great success with dragonfly fans of all ages, and local dragonfly recorder Vicky Nall was on hand to lead pond dipping adventures throughout the day!



Get Involved

NEW Onny Meadows volunteer group

Caring for our special site by:
* Preserving the traditional flower rich meadows
* Managing and enhancing the existing habitats to encourage a more diverse variety of plants, insects, birds and mammals
* Protecting our nationally recog-nised butterfly and dragonfly hotspots
* Spreading the message of our meadows as a haven for wildlife
* Improving the visitor experience through the improvement of paths

The group will meet weekly on a Friday and will be a chance to make new friends, learn new skills and give something back to your community. Tea and cake provided!
No experience is necessary, but a background in either conservation, landscaping or gardening would be a bonus.
To learn more, please contact the group coordinator, Grant Wilson on or 01588 676060 for a chat.


Habitat Helpers volunteer group

Volunteer to help manage the Onny Meadows for Dragonflies and other wildlife. Habitat Helpers is a small, friendly local volunteer group who meet on the first Sunday of every month at 10am. All ages are welcome and no prior experience is needed.

This is a great opportunity for people who love spending time outdoors, and would like to learn more about wildlife and habitat management.

Get in touch with the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre here to find out more.


Dragonfly Recording

In order to manage the Onny Meadows in the best way possible for Dragonflies it is really important that we know which species are there, and how their populations are doing.

If you are taking a trip to the Onny Meadows please remember to report the sepcies you see. All records are welcome, even if you only see a couple of dragonflies!  If you are new to recording you can find more information here. Please report your sightings via iRecord here.



We are looking for volunteers to carry out Dragonfly monitoring at the Onny Meadows site. This will involve carrying out at least 3 site visits a year. Familarity with some common species of Dragonfly would be useful but help and training with surveying and identification will be available. Please get in touch if you are interested.


Kids Discovery Club

Held on the last Saturday of every month, from 11am - midday, there are different activities centred on exploring nature and the outdoors, get crafty and creative. Aimed at children aged 3-7yrs old (though older children are welcome too) accompanied by an adult (you'll have just as much fun!), bring your wellies just in case the weather isn't kind to us. Events are buggy friendly and there is an indoor alternative in the event of really bad weather. 
Price: £2.50 per accompanied child. No need to book, just turn up.



The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre host a range of events throughout the year, as well as workshops for adults and activity days for kids. See their events page for more details. 



Visitor Information

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre
School Road
Craven Arms

Open times: 7 days a week, 10:00-17:00

Free access and free parking.

Disabled access, parking and facilities.

Dogs accompanied by responsible owners are welcome to the Onny Meadows.

For full information please see here.


Directions for drivers and cyclists: Situated beside the A49 on the southern outskirts of Craven Arms – 20 miles south of Shrewsbury, 7 miles north of Ludlow.

Grid reference SO 435 825

SAT NAV via post code SY7 9RS

Train : Craven Arms train station is less than 10 minutes walk from the Discovery Centre. 

Bus: Buses are available (Service 435) throughout the day from Shrewsbury and Ludlow Monday-Saturday. There is no service on Sundays or Bank Holiday Mondays.