hollow tree in Park Wood

 

Park Wood is an area of ancient woodland in West Malvern, hidden between the unmaintained Brockhill Road and Purlieu off West Malvern Road. It is owned by the Malvern Hills Conservators and managed by Wildwood Coppice Crafts.

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Although the Malvern Hills are made up of acidic granite, Park Wood is on limestone. The lime was quarried here and burnt to make quicklime that was then used to make mortar. The lime kilns you can see on the edge of the wood were built in about 1920, but there is evidence of lime being burnt here since 1663. lime_kilns

This wood primarily consists of large oak trees with an understory of hazel. Numerous ancient tracks criss-cross the wood while the lime stone quarry works have left an interesting and undulating terrain reclaimed by woodland and forming numerous fascinating hollows. The paths include the way of an old tram track that was used to bring down quarried stone from the hills. A number of unusual plants can be seen, including Herb Paris and Toothwort.

 

Brewers_Arms

This wood was intensively coppiced from before the 1600s to roughly 70 years ago. In the last couple of years the woodland managers have started to coppice the wood again, using traditional methods, to ensure the diverse flora and fauna remain in the wood and the rare or unusual plants and animals found here will flourish.

Making a wildflower glade

Towards the top of the wood a glade has been cleared between the two sides of open fields. This creates a corridor for butterflies and other animals. This glade will be mown and wild flowers encouraged to grow here to support the wildlife, especially butterflies and dormice.

 

Plants in Park Wood

Animals in Park Wood

Traditional Coppicing

Coppicing in Park Wood