Wyre Forest has become England’s largest woodland National Nature Reserve (NNR) after being extended by nearly 900 hectares.
A NNR is an area which protects wildlife and geology. Found on the Worcestershire and Shropshire border, the Forest now covers over 1,455 hectares and incorporates a number of different settings. These include old orchards, meadows, forests and steep-sided valleys.
A wide range of wildlife call the area home too, including birds, moths, protected mammals and reptiles. 58% of the UK’s butterfly species reside in the forest as well, which is only 20 miles from Birmingham.
There has been a marked increase in the number of visitors to the forest since the pandemic too, with more appreciation for the health benefits of exploring green spaces and being around nature.
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: “This very significant expansion of the Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve marks another important step toward Nature recovery in England. These reserves protect some of the finest examples of our natural environment, and by expanding their size we not only protect more wildlife but also help different species cope as the effects of climate change take hold.”
“Wyre Forest is a mosaic of woodlands, ravines, grasslands and scrub, and it is exactly this kind of varied habitat that we must create more of if we are to improve the prospects for some of our most beautiful and interesting wild species, including butterflies such as the White Admiral and Wood White.”
“This is now England’s largest native forest nature reserve, presenting a fine example of the kinds of woodlands we should strive to create more of into the future, not only catching carbon, but providing a variety of additional benefits. With Birmingham nearby, improved health and wellbeing for people will be one of those.”
Kevin Stannard, Forest Management Director, Forestry England’s West District, said: “Becoming the largest woodland National Nature Reserve in England is a recognition of the unique features that make Wyre Forest so special and the vital role this landscape plays in providing valuable habitats, a sustainable source of timber and a place for people to explore and enjoy.”
Wondering where to head to on your next tour? Be sure to take a look at our guide to the best motorhome sites, where we pick out the top campsites to stay at around the UK. We’ve also rounded up 12 of our favourite nature reserves, as well as revealing the nearby campsites.
Our guide to wildlife photography will also help you perfect your on-tour snaps, allowing you to capture any encounters with nature.
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Becoming the largest woodland National Nature Reserve in England is a recognition of the unique features that make Wyre Forest so special