Natural England - Wyre Forest NNR

Wyre Forest NNR

Wyre Forest is part of one of the largest ancient lowland coppice oak woodlands in England.

Wyre Forest NNR

County: Worcestershire

Main habitats: Woodland, Lowland Grassland

Area: 549 ha

Download a leaflet about the reserveexternal link.

Although most NNRs are managed by Natural England, 88 are wholly or partly managed by other bodies approved by Council, under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The Wyre Forest NNR is managed by Natural England and the Forestry Commissionexternal link.

In the past the area was intensively managed to produce charcoal and timber products and Natural England is restoring the coppice system to help diversify the age and species structure of the woodland.

The reserve overlies a plateau containing shales and sandstones of the Upper Carboniferous Coal Measures. The area is heavily faulted, giving rise to steep valleys.

Wyre Forest has elements of both lowland and upland woodland and also contains a number of unimproved grassland meadows. Old orchards and areas of scrub also contribute to the variety of habitats present in the reserve.

The site supports an important invertebrate population that includes England’s largest colony of pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies.

Breeding birds in the area include redstart, pied flycatcher, wood warbler, buzzard and raven, while dipper, grey wagtail and kingfisher are found on the larger streams.

Mammals found in the reserve include, fallow, Roe and muntjac deer, polecats, otters and mink. Yellow neck mice, dormice, voles and water shrews are also found. Several bat species live in the area including pipistrelle and Daubenton's.

Location and access

Wyre Forest is 1 km north west of Bewdley (on the A456) and 7 km west of Kidderminster.

By road the Forest is accessed via the A456 and B4194. There is a car park on the B4194, 0.5 km west of the village of Buttonoak, and another at the Forestry Commission Wyre Forest Discovery Centreexternal link at Callow Hill on the A456.

The nearest train station is in Kidderminsterexternal link. Local bus services between Bewdley and Kidderminster are provided by First Groupexternal link.

Facilities

Toilet and refreshment facilities can be found at the Wyre Forest Visitor Centreexternal link (near the Discovery Centre) at Callow Hill, and in local villages.

There are a number of waymarked trails in the Forest (some suitable for wheelchair users) as well as regular guided walks. There are also family cycle routes through the reserve.

The Visitor Centre and Discovery Centre also organise craft days, activities for schools and pre-school children, and provide facilities for disabled visitors.