Although the “Too Lazy” ethos extends to many aspects of our life besides weeding (dusting, hoovering and exercising all spring to mind), we do like to get Out and About with our cameras and visit some of the many beautiful places our countryside has to offer.
So I thought we’d use this page to give details of some of the places we’ve found and enjoyed to date.
First up for 2016 is Tiddesley Wood near Pershore in Worcestershire. It is run by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and is one of their Flagship Reserves. We visited in the Spring when the bluebells were out, but it is no doubt worth a visit at any time of the year. For more info on our visit go to: https://toolazytoweed.uk/2016/04/17/out-and-about-tiddesley-wood/
It should be good for butterflies (such as the White Admiral) in the summer months and it is home to a population of the nationally rare Noble Chafer. For more information and directions, go to the Trust’s webpage: http://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/reserves/tiddesley-wood
Hartlebury Common is an SSSI and area of lowland heath in North Worcestershire, near Stourport-on-Severn. It’s got a mix of wooded areas and heather and gorse covered open areas, with a wide variety of birds and insect life.
We visited in April and saw lots of birds, most notably this beautiful Jay. For more info on our visit, go to: https://toolazytoweed.uk/2016/04/23/out-and-about-hartlebury-common/
For more information and directions, go to their webpage: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/directory_record/3319/hartlebury_common_and_hillditch_pool_and_coppice
PENNY HILL BANK
Penny Hill Bank is a small nature reserve near Martley in Worcestershire and is run by the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. It’s old grassland on a fairly steep bank that has never been ploughed or had fertilisers applied. The result is a wide variety of plants which in turn has allowed a variety of insects to flourish. It’s a really pretty site with great views over Worcestershire.
We had a bit of trouble finding it. You need to park on the roadside (we found a layby) and head up the road until you find a footpath on the left opposite Hill Cottage. Follow the footpath into the field and about half way up on the right you should see the sign for Penny Hill Bank. We visited in May and saw Grizzled Skippers and Green Hairstreaks. For more info on our visit go to https://toolazytoweed.uk/2016/05/11/out-and-about-penny-hill-bank/
For more information and directions, go to the Trust’s webpage: http://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/reserves/penny-hill-bank
Haugh Woods in Herefordshire is a nationally important site for butterflies and moths. It is run by the Forestry Commission who, together with Butterfly Conservation, have set up two Butterfly Trails. The woods are home to an important colony of the increasingly rare Wood White Butterfly. It consists of 350 hectares of broadleaf woodland and is an SSSI.
It is an easy site to find, on the road between Mordiford and Woolhope and you can park at the Forestry Commission carpark. We visited in May and were lucky enough to spot several Wood White butterflies. For more on our visit go to: https://toolazytoweed.uk/2016/05/23/out-and-about-haugh-wood/
For more information and directions, go to the Forestry Commission webpage at: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/englandherefordshireherefordwoodlandshaughwoods
The Wyre Forest is a National Nature Reserve and is jointly run by the Forestry Commission and Natural England. It is part of an ancient woodland dating back at least as far as the Doomsday Book. Today it is managed to provide a variety of habitats, which means the wood is rich in bird, insect and plant life.
So far we’ve visited the Wyre in May when the Pearl Bordered Fritillaries were out and about. Hopefully we’ll make it back in June and see the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries too! For more info on our May visit go to: https://toolazytoweed.uk/2016/05/18/out-and-about-wyre-forest/
If you want to visit the Wyre to see the butterflies, best to park in the Dry Mill Lane carpark (DY12 2BL) and follow the butterfly trails. For more information go to: http://westmidlands-butterflies.org.uk/Wyre%20Butterfly%20Trail%203.pdf
PRESTBURY HILL RESERVE
Prestbury Hill, near Cheltenham, is a fantastic reserve owned and managed by Butterfly Conservation. Not surprisingly therefore it is a great place to see butterflies. It consists of limestone slopes with unimproved grasslands and is home to several nationally threatened butterfly species as well as many other more common ones too.
We’ve visited Prestbury twice last year. We went in July and “bagged” our first ever Dark Green Fritillaries. For more info on this visit go to: https://toolazytoweed.uk/2016/07/25/out-and-about-prestbury-hill/ Then in August we returned and got not only the Chalkhill Blues, but Small Blue & Brown Argus https://toolazytoweed.uk/2016/08/06/out-and-about-prestbury-hill-the-return/ In 2017 we returned and saw our first Duke of Burgundy: https://toolazytoweed.uk/2017/05/16/the-duke-of-prestbury-hill/
The reserve is split into two areas separated by a small woody patch. It is fairly easy to find and there is roadside parking near the 2 areas. It is of course on a hill – you park near the top, but of course you’ll end up walking down! For more information go to: http://butterfly-conservation.org/files/prestbury-hill-reserve-final-proof.pdf
More places to follow, as and when we visit them through 2017.