• Hartlebuty Common 2 25th August 2007
  • Hartlebury common1
  • Winter Hartlebury Common by Gemma Henry e1629473267708

Enjoy / The Great Outdoors / Tours & Trails / Kidderminster

Hartlebury Common Local Nature Reserve

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Worcestershire's most important and largest remaining heathland area. Woodland, Heather clad hills, a rare acid bog and pool and a brook that attracts an abundance of wildlife.

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Tracks lead you all around the site, some wide, open and sandy, others narrow and twisting among trees and bushes. The site is an important public open space on the edge of Stourport, and is very popular with walkers. There is a short waymarked circular trail which leads you round part of the site. There are also several car parks, the main one being at Wilden Top.Regarded as one of Worcestershire's most important nature reserves, Hartlebury Common is especially noted for its wild plants and over 100 species of moths and butterflies have been recorded. Heather dominates the the lower terrace and specialist flowers flourish, such as Shepherds Cress, Sheeps Sorrel, Heath Bedstraw and delicate Lilac Harebell in late summer. Birds include the delightful Whinchat and Stonechat, as well as a variety of woodland birds in the mature Oak woods.Left to its own devices the heathland would gradually turn into woodland, which is what it must have been when our Neolithic ancestors settled in the area. They cleared it and grazed their animals on it. As the soil is so sandy heathland vegetation started to develop. Now that animals are no longer grazed intensively on the site, it is important to stop too much broom, gorse and young trees from growing up in the open areas, otherwise they would shade out rarer species and we would lose this nationally important habitat.In contrast to the dry heathland, Hillditch Pool and Coppice is used by Otters passing through. You can see Alder Carr and reed beds, uncommon vegetation in this area. The pool was originally formed by the damming of Titton Brook to provide power for the nearby mill. Dragonflies and damselflies abound in summer, hovering silently over the water or perched on a leaf. Here you will also find flowering rush and a range of sedges. Marsh Marigold, Watermint and Yellow Flag Iris are just a few of the colourful flowers mixed in among the sedges. Frogs, toads and newts are attracted to the pools.

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Hartlebury Common
DY13 9JB Get directions

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