Know before you go
Parking informationParking very restricted at turning to wood
The reserve is not far from the River Stour and the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.
Please keep to marked paths, which are muddy and slippery when wet.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitFebruary to June
About the reserve
This small reserve 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 that have become naturalised.
Many woodland birds thrive here; 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”?