Bircher Common and Croft Castle
Bircher Common and the neighbouring Croft Castle, including the ancient Croft Ambrey hill fort, from where it is claimed you can see 14 counties, make up a fairly extensive sweep of heatland, woodland and pasture, as well as a series of ancient fishponds. Croft Castle is renowned for its fine parkland, which contains more than 300 veteran trees - including a magnificent avenue of Spanish chestnuts.
Bircher Common, adjoining Croft Castle to the east, is classified as lowland heath. It provides fantasti views to the south and east, and is especially picturesque when the heather is in bloom. Stonechat breed here and buzzards are almost always seen. There are plenty of deer around this part of Herefordshire. Bircher Common is a great spot for butterflies, including the increasingly rare High brown fritillary.
Wildlife Highlights: Deer, stonechat, buzzard, kestrel, and range of warblers and woodland birds, and grey shrike has been recorded here recently in winter.
Butterflies: High brown fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, peacock, ringlet, large white, Large skipper, Meadow brown, Dark green fritillary & Red admiral.
Croft Castle is a National Trust property, and thus is free to NT members. The grounds are easily accessible from any number of footpaths, but non members will have to pay to park.
Bircher Common has several parking areas and is freely open to all responsible walkers.
How to get there: Bircher Common and Croft Castle lie 5 miles north west of Leominster and 9 miles south west of Ludlow; approach from B4362, turning north at Cock Gate between Bircher and Mortimer's Cross; signposted from Ludlow-Leominster road (A49) and from A4110 at Mortimer's Cross
Facilities: Croft Castle has a car park, cafe and toilets.
Baby adder filmed on Bircher Common.
The clip was taken on an Olympus SP800UZ
These maps are intended as a guideline only; you must check the exact location of the reserve yourself. Wildlife Extra assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or usefulness of the information on this website.