Beauty and also birds in the Wye Valley
THIS IS A SMALL reserve in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) alongside Haugh Wood, and a warbler’s paradise. Essentially, this is an area of grassy heath but with damp hollows, lots of scattered trees with patches of Gorse and Hawthorn thickets, which the Yellowhammers enjoy. There are also patches of oak and birch woodland and the walk is extended to bring in some hillside and woodland with conifers and a stream to add to the interest. There are one or two good sites nearby, so you could spend the whole day here! Back to the common, listen for the Grasshopper Warbler, watch for a hunting Barn Owl or a roding Woodcock. The whole area is known as the Woolhope Dome where millions of years ago the whole area was pushed up and Haugh Wood eventually developed here, but with streams eroding parts into little valleys. So effectively, we start in the lovely common and add a journey through time and the opportunity to see quite a range of birds, although not likely to see rarities, even though Nightingale was once recorded here. Tawny and Little Owls are likely.