Burlish Top Local Nature Reserve
Free parking is available all year round.
Every day of the year.
Located North of Stourport-on-Severn and South West of Kidderminster. Main visitor car park located off the Kingsway, Stourport-on-Severn. Pedestrian and cyclist access only from Gould Avenue, Kidderminster
SO 80655 73484
tinsel.robe.novel (Visitor car park entrance)
Burlish Top is approximately 35 hectares (86 acres) in size.
The dominant habitat is heath and acid grassland, surrounded by oak and birch scrub. The acid grassland has been surveyed by many professional bodies, and Natural England rated it as the best quality acid grassland in the county.
Wildlife on the site is typical for what you would expect on a heathland site, while reptiles are scarce due to the levels of disturbance from the public; however common lizard, grass snake and slow worm have been seen. There are many notable species of solitary bee and wasp which make use of the bare sandy soil, as do unusual heathland specialists, the green tiger beetle. The open areas are also utilised by a variety of ground feeding birds such as green woodpecker and as nesting sites for rarities like woodlark.
There are a few small pools on site; one in particular supports a good breeding population of smooth newt, common frog, various dragonflies, damselflies and great diving beetle.
Although traditionally a heath, this has given way in the main to gorse and broom scrub. There has been an increase in the density of rare grey hair grass after scrub clearance carried out in previous years.
The area has an interesting history. Burlish Camp (or Camp Bewdley as it was known) was used as a World War II American Army training and hospital camp. All that remains from those days are concrete paths, and some foundations from the original buildings. Much of this has been highlighted along a way marked ‘History’ trail.
Volunteer hedge laying
Volunteers re-lay hedging helping native wildlife and visitors!
Our regular volunteer team have been working hard over two days learning a new skill: traditional hedge laying.
The ‘Midland Bullock’ hedge process creates thicker, healthier, cattle-proof hedges and lets native wildlife thrive in this vital habitat. The hedges have been created from younger trees (mostly Hawthorn) supported and bound with Hazel branches.
Early hedge blossom is a huge help to pollinators like bees and butterflies. The native hedge plants help feed a huge number of invertebrates. The autumn berries also help feed smaller mammals and birds.
Thanks to tutoring from David Molloy, from The Woodsman Ltd, the volunteers were able to complete the hedge that overlooks Burlish Meadows Nature Reserve. This opens up the spectacular view across Burlish Meadows and allows more sunlight through to the footpath on Burlish Top.