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Beaconwood and the Winsel

Although beautiful, the yellow-flowered skunk cabbage is a non-native species that has spread along the ravine.  We're concerned that it is growing to the detriment of native plants and have started to remove it.  We will leave the roots exposed to air to allow them to perish.  Please do not place it back in the water.  Thank you.

A woodland with a great variety of wildlife and beautiful carpets of bluebells each spring.

These beautiful woods on the edge of Birmingham are renowned for their stunning shows of bluebells each spring.  There’s more to these 11 hectares than bluebells!

The woods lie on the northwest spur of the Lickey Hills.  Beaconwood was cleared and replanted with oaks about 120 years ago whereas plantations on the Winsel date from around 1930.  Part of the National Trust’s Chadwich Estate, they’re managed by WWT.

They’re great for walking in all year round.  Spring is great for woodland flowers whereas a walk following a sprinkling of snow in winter is magical.

Entering via a gate from the public footpath off the old A38, you’ll walk up the forester’s track passing beech and turkey oaks with an understorey of holly.  As you walk the trees become more varied with whitebeam, cherry, sweet chestnut and mature conifers on the north slope.  The Great Oak, planted as the marker oak at the junction of three forestry compartments, is around 250 years old.

The heavy leaf canopy and dense bracken provide ideal cover for a range of wildlife.  Pied flycatchers, buzzards, kestrels, sparrow hawks, tawny and little owls, great spotted woodpeckers, tree creepers and  other woodland birds can be found here.

Volunteers keep an eye on the wildlife through the summer months, helping to ensure they have the peace and quiet to breed and raise their young.

Species and habitats

Ponds, Woodland
Bluebell, Field Maple, Crab Apple, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Tawny Owl, Red Fox

Nearby nature reserves

Broadmoor Wood
1 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
1 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Penorchard Meadows
4 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

North end of Birmingham Road, 1 mile from north-east junction of the M5
B61 0QD
Map reference
SO 974 759
Great for...
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Apr - Jun
Sep - Nov
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Dawn to dusk
11.00 hectares
Local Wildlife Site (LWS)

No wheelchair access
Walking information
Circular path. Earth path and steps, some paths on slopes and will be muddy and slippery when wet.
Park on roadside by reserve entrance
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Andy Harris
Tel: 01905 754919