Nature Reserves to visit near Orchard Side Bed and Breakfast

Nature Reserves to visit near Orchard Side Bed and Breakfast

Brotheridge Green Nature Reserve

This reserve was a former railway track and embankment for the railway between Upton upon Severn and Malvern.

Botheridge Green Nature Reserve

This decommissioned railway has been colonised by grassland, scrub and young trees to provide habitat and wildlife for all seasons. As you enter the reserve from the road bridge you descend into a deep cutting with damp soil and overhanging trees at one end of the reserve and at the other end, the reserve is above a well-drained steep embankment which supports a large range of plants.

Over 30 species of butterfly have been recorded on this site, including marbled white, white-letter hairstreak, dingy skipper, small copper and holly blue.

In April and May, you will see lovely Cowslip, which is a cousin of the Primrose and an early spring flower. This flower was a common plant of traditional hay meadows, ancient woodlands and hedgerows, but the loss of these habitats has caused a serious decline in its populations and now fields coloured bright yellow with its nodding heads are a rare sight.

The Cowslip displays a rosette of green, crinkly, tongue-like leaves, low to the ground and has tube-like, egg-yolk-yellow flowers are clustered together at the ends of its upright, green stem.

Cowslip

You can walk to this reserve on footpaths from Orchard Side Bed and Breakfast and incorporate a visit to Melrose Farm Meadow Reserve below.

If you drive to the reserve there is space for 2-3 cars on the verge by the entrance and access is via a steep stepped/ramped slope leads down to the grass pathway. If you would like to walk a circular route there are stiles on the public footpath exits midway along the reserve.

Website: https://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/nature-reserves/brotheridge-green

West section of a disused railway line in Brotheridge Green, Upton on Severn, Worcestershire. WR8 0AU

Melrose Farm Meadow

This reserve is a particularly important example of an old Worcestershire meadow and includes meadow saffron, green-winged orchid, adder’s-tongue fern, dyer’s greenweed, cowslip and saw-wort. You can walk to this small Nature Reserve from Orchard side and the best time to visit is between April and June. It’s such a treat to see the green-winged orchids which are short and prefer unimproved grasslands and can be spotted on banks, village greens and even in churchyards. They flower in May or June and the flower spikes carry a cluster of pinky-purple flowers (sometimes white) that give this orchid its name. Green-winged orchids are pollinated by bumblebees and the hood formed by the sepals is lined with green veins.

Due to the fragile nature of the reserve, access is restricted to the public footpath and it is situated near the Botheridge Green Reserve.

Wild Orchid

Website: https://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/nature-reserves/melrose-farm-meadows

Nr Brotheridge Green, Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire. WR8 0AU

St Wulstans Nature Reserve

St. Wulstan’s is a nature reserve that has sprung from the remains of a former World War II hospital. This history has helped to give it a unique character, with a mix of exotic and native species.

There are large areas of wildflower meadow, young native woodland, and areas of mature woodland and scrub.

You are lead around the site via several flat circular paths, with plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the abundance of wildlife along with wonderful views of the Malvern Hills. The Reserve supports a huge range of birds and insects and even slowworms and grass snakes can be seen if you are lucky. A group of enthusiastic local volunteers have played a big role at the Reserve since it opened. This group of local people took ‘ownership’ of the site and are now supported by the Countryside Service with managing it.

St Wulstan’s

St. Wulstan’s Local Nature Reserve is a popular site for both wildlife and visitors, and provides a stunning countryside experience for everyone. The Reserve officially opened in 1997; the County Council Countryside Service has managed it since December 2004.

There is plenty of parking and a very popular site for dog walking.

Directions from Orchard Side Bed and Breakfast. St Wulstan’s Nature Reserve is at the end of St. Wulstan’s Drive (off Assarts Lane), WR14 4JA.

The Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve

This 34-hectare nature reserve offers a circular trail around the reserve and there is an 8-mile circular Woods & Wildlife Walk, which can be downloaded from their website. The Geopark Way also runs through the reserve. Apart from the main entrance, most access points have kissing gates or stiles. The paths are uneven, you will encounter steps and when wet it is slippery.

The trail around the Knapp and Papermill starts in an apple orchard and the Leigh Brook cuts a winding valley with steep woodlands and rich meadows. The wildlife is abundant here with grey wagtails and dippers on the brook and, during the winter months flocks of long-tailed tits and siskins can be seen in the brook-side alders. Dragonflies and damselflies thrive on the brook during spring and summer and only the luckiest of visitors may catch sight of an otter. The trail takes visitors along the brook, around meadows and through woodland.

There are 3 meadows to explore

Big Meadow is a hay meadow with knapweed, ox-eye daisy and yellow rattle flowers together with a scattering of green-winged and common spotted orchids. The Papermill Meadow is an old pasture and is a favourite hunting ground for buzzards that breed in the valley. The smaller Tor Meadow has orchids and cowslips with butterflies frequenting all three meadows. Each meadow is maintained by hay cutting and/or grazing.

The woodlands occupy about half the reserve, some of it managed by coppicing. This traditional method of cutting down young stems ensures that trees never die and there is always a range of habitats for wildlife at different stages of re-growth. Coppicing encourages the marvellous carpet of bluebells and other wildflowers (yellow archangel, stitchwort and wild garlic) seen each spring. Dormice are encouraged through the provision of nest boxes, as are many species of birds and bats. The reserve is important for bats and 11 of the UK’s 15 regular breeding species are found here.

A trail leaflet and family guide are available from the small information centre near the entrance or it can be downloaded from the website. Dogs are welcome and there are toilets and a picnic area.

Website: https://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/nature-reserves/knapp-and-papermill

Bridges Stone, Nr Alfrick, Worcester. WR6 5HR

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