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Vicarage Farm Heath Local Nature Reserve

Vicarage Farm Heath is located at grid reference SO 81454 273785 (DY11 7QY).

This local nature reserve (LNR) is an area of lowland heath situated 2.5km south of Kidderminster, comprising of lowland heath, scrub banks and mixed broadleaved and pine woodland. It covers an area of 11 hectares (27 acres), and is bordered by Brintons industrial estate on its southern edge, and Birchen Coppice housing estate on its north, east and western edges.

It is located a short walk away from Burlish Top (LNR), and is regularly used by locals for informal recreation. The mixture of habitats and proximity to other local nature reserves provides refuge for a wealth of different insects, birds, mammals and reptiles.

While the area of lowland heath on Vicarage Farm is small, what is present, is of a high quality and supports some nationally scarce wildlife including mining wasps and bees, parasitic wasps, green tiger beetles, common lizard, slow worm and a plethora of butterfly species such as common blue, small heath and small copper. There are also woodland species in the small wooded areas, such as greater spotted woodpecker and migratory birds in winter such as waxwings.

Much of the work carried out on this site over previous years has been to maintain the existing areas of heath and grassland by way of manually removing the small invading birch and oak saplings that threaten to smother the open ground.

Money has been secured through grant aid to make a real impact on the amount of good quality habitat that this wonderful little site supports. Young silver birch and oak will be removed from around the edges of the heath, expanding its area considerably. In addition, it is intended that the district council's grazing animals project will be introduced too, as a means of maintaining the open environment.

While there is no formal route around the site, there are sandy tracks that people can follow to explore the heath.


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