THIS SMALL RESERVE, not far from the River Wye, is on a steep slope with a rather deep gully. There’s a stream here and the wood has an ancient origin, so it’s an interesting area. There are oak, Beech, conifers and, of course, Sycamore. Elm was attacked by the elm disease but is regenerating. Ash is now predominant but there is now an under storey of Hazel, Bramble, Elder and honeysuckle. The gully has lots of ferns, too. At the higher end of the slopes, Bluebell, Primrose and Wood Sorrel abide, which are thought of as ancient woodland indicators. The reserve is a good nesting site for various woodland birds and the spring and stream add interesting possibilities. Because this is a small reserve I’d suggest as an option to elongate the walk down to the path alongside the river or a slightly longer walk to Arthur’s Stone Burial Chamber, with more birds and also a bit of history! Also, if you have time, cross over towards Bredwardine and pick up the trail along the River Wye with a good chance of adding to your list for the day. This is a really good walk with lots of variety.
1From the start, walk up the small road westerly past the pub then follow the way-marked track northwards to the reserve. Go right round the reserve, checking for Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Marsh Tit and Stock Dove. Sparrowhawk and Kestrel are the most likely birds of prey but always keep an eye overhead for Red Kite and Raven.
2Back now through a mix of open and wooded areas over the hillside, again an area for birds of prey; Little Owl is also possible. Look for flycatchers and Whinchat and Whitethroat.
3The more open area should produce Barn Owl and Swallow and Swift at the appropriate time of year, and Sand Martin usually nest in the River Wye banks. Goldfinch and Siskin wander around and Redwing and Fieldfare are possible at the appropriate time.
Up and down the hill again checking the sky for Buzzard and possible Peregrine.
4 5Finally, now down to the River Wye where Kingfisher, Mallard and Grey Heron (there is a heronry nearby) could be seen.
Kingfisher Spotted Flycatcher