Hill Court Farm by Paul Lane

Hill Court Farm by Paul Lane

120ha
No dogs
1 screen
Volunteer Group
Primarily a wetland site, this is the biggest single conservation project the Trust has attempted.

Location

Near Longdon
Upton upon Severn
Worcestershire
GL20 6BD
A static map of Hill Court Farm & The Blacklands

Know before you go

Size
120 hectares

Parking information

2 or 3 spaces on Marsh Road by Longdon Brook

Grazing animals

Cattle and sheep

Access

Access is restricted to a permissive path from Marsh Road to a viewing screen overlooking a scrape. There is a public bridleway between Robertsend and Marsh Road, which runs along a high ridge, giving excellent views of the reserve. Muddy and slippery underfoot when wet, fields liable to flooding in winter and early spring.

Dogs

No dogs permitted

Facilities

Bird hides

When to visit

Opening times

Permissive path open dawn to dusk

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Longdon and Eldersfield Marshes were once Worcestershire’s largest and most important wetland; haunt of otter, bittern, swallowtail butterflies and rich flora. In late Victorian times the marshes were drained for agriculture.  Although remnants exist, much of their former glory has been lost. In 1867 the naturalist Edwin Lee wrote: “Longdon Marsh is covered with water in a wet autumnal season and at that time assumes the appearance of an extensive lake.  Even in summer a few days of continued rain inundates these flat meadows... In autumn the marsh is covered with geese, and the ground, white with feathers, presents a strangely barren aspect amidst the cultivated country that slowly advances on its lessening borders.”

In 2001 the Trust purchased the 120 hectares of Hill Court Farm and the Blacklands.  At the time it was being managed as an intensive dairy and arable farm; wee undertook initial restoration works to recreate grasslands and to raise spring water levels but the habitats will take many years to develop and mature. We aim to recreate the grazing marshes, wetlands and wildlife-friendly farmland to provide suitable breeding habitats and wintering grounds for birds such as lapwing, redshank, wildfowl and farmland birds like skylark and yellowhammer.

The reserve was named in honour of Andrew Fraser, the Trust’s Conservation Manager for almost 30 years, who sadly died in 2003. The purchase and establishment of this reserve was made possible with funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, English Nature, Worcestershire County Council, Severn Waste Services, the Environment Agency, DEFRA and Aquila Networks.

Bigger, better and more joined up

We believe that a landscape-scale approach to wildlife conservation is essential. Wildlife needs space to adapt and move to cope with the consequences of climate change. Practically, this means that we need our countryside to be bigger, better and more joined up to provide a coherent network of large areas linked by corridors that can provide benefits for people as well as for biodiversity.

This is an adventurous project with on-site development of water management systems with no adverse impact on neighbouring sites.  The restoration of the marshes in this area is being taken forward by acquiring land to establish core nature reserves and we are encouraging other landowners on the marsh to adopt more wildlife-friendly management of their land.  The Trust has identified the Severn & Avon Vales area as one seven priorities in Worcestershire for its Living Landscapes approach. Here, we have been working as part of a broader partnership focused on the Severn and Avon Vales;  Longdon & Eldersfield Marshes form the largest priority zone within the Severn & Avon Vales Living landscape area.

Contact us

David Molloy
Contact number: 01905 754919

Location map