Grafton Wood, Worcestershire

Grafton Wood, Worcestershire

Species to look out for

The boundries of this ancient woodland have gone unchanged since at least 1700. Grafton Wood is a remnant of the royal forest of Fakenham that covered much of this part of Worcestershire in the Middle Ages

History of the reserve

Evidence of a 500 acre wood in Saxon Charters. The ownership of the wood is known from Saxon Time to date.  It was owned by Croome Estate (the Earls of Coventry) from 1730 to 1997 and managed as a coppice woodland.

Other species to look for

Notable beetles of deadwood (ancient woodland indicators)

  • Abdera biflexuosa
  • Agrilus laticornis
  • Chalcoides nitidula
  • Trachodes hispidus

The birds (not all breeding) include buzzard, goldcrest, treecreeper lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers.

Features

The wood is on a gentle west-facing slope, with heavy soil of the Lower Lias clays . These damp calcareous soils support a varied and distinctive flora that includes Herb-Paris, Adder’s-tongue, Violet Helleborine, Spurge-laurel and Birds-nest Orchid.

The canopy is dominated by ash and oak, most of the latter having been planted at the end of the 19th century, though much older trees persist along boundary banks. Only 2 compartments had been converted to conifers in the 1960s and these are being removed.

Derelict hazel coppice, birch and field maple are major components of the current woodland structure, along with various shrub species.

Blackthorn thickets are extensive in places around the margins of the wood and along interior rides, and are the target of enhancement management.

This reserve was acquired in partnership with the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Size: 56 hectares (138 acres)

Management activities

12 Ha of wood is coppiced each year and wide rides are maintained throughout the wood. In 2011 all conifers were removed and the areas were left for natural regeneration.

Directions

  • Grid Reference: SO 972 560 O.S. Map: 150
  • Postcode:   WR7 4PG
  • Nearest town: Worcester

Take the A422 eastwards from Worcester (starts off the A44 as it comes in from J5 of the M5), turning off left to Grafton Flyford about 8 km after crossing over the motorway.

Please park by the Three Parishes Village Hall (SO 963 557) and follow the footpath eastwards to the reserve. Public transport

There are some bus routes running along the A422 - see local information sources for timetables.

Facilities

Nearest toilet: Alcester Road Garage on the main A422 just south of the wood has Toilet and shop. For special events we hire the 3 Parishes Hall which has Meeting and toilet Facilities it is situation at the car park for the wood.

Site access and safety

The various entrances to the wood are reached via public footpaths and bridleways over the surrounding farmland. This ground can be soft and uneven in places, and especially so the rides in the wood. The entrances in the south-west and eastern boundaries have kissing gates.

Contact

John Tilt -  Telephone: 01386 792458

Leaflet

Grafton Wood leaflet