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Chance Wood

A small ornamental woodland near Stourbridge which attracts a range of wildlife.

This 2.8 hectare woodland was planted as an ornamental wood in the 19th century.  It is dominated by large oaks and beech with big specimens of hornbeam, ash, sycamore, horse chestnut and a few conifers.

Visitors to this open woodland on a hillside overlooking the River Stour will come across glades of bracken and bramble.  A dry valley runs through the reserve and down to the river.

Wood sage and foxgloves thrive on the rather acid soil, produced by underlying well-drained pebble-beds and sandstones.  Extensive carpets of snowdrops appear early in the year, followed by daffodils and bluebells later.  Frequent visitors will also discover dame’s violet and Italian lords-and-ladies, a relative of wild arum with dark green leaves and palely marked veins.  The latter are garden escapes which have become naturalised.

Many woodland birds thrive in this reserve; tits, woodpeckers, nuthatches and treecreepers are frequently seen.  The old trees provide a good supply of invertebrate food and contain suitable nesting holes.  These have been supplemented with nest boxes and bat boxes. 

The woodland also features a small cemetery for dogs on the hilltop.  The headstones date back to 1869.  Who was “Punch, died 1898”?

Species and habitats

Snowdrop, Bluebell, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker

Nearby nature reserves

Highgate Common
3 miles - Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Bishop's Field
4 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Penorchard Meadows
6 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Near Stourbridge
Map reference
SO 853 848
Best time to visit
Feb - Jun
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Opening Times
Open at all times
2.80 hectares

Access via footpath running south from A458. Please contact the Trust for disabled access information
Parking very restricted, with little space on road verges
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Andy Harris
Tel: 01905 754919