This is a lovely area east of Hereford with woodland, open hillside and eye-popping views. It lies on a ridge of Wenlock Limestone and there is a quarry nearby. There are three areas to the reserve, one called Monument Hill, originally steep sloping grazing land, is now an attractive herb-rich meadow attracting a wide variety of insect life. The other two areas known as North Meadow and Old Cider House are now grassland and orchard. The meadow has good hedges and shrubs and some trees. There are lots of ant mounds, so look out for that Green Woodpecker feeding on them.
My favourite bird when I was growing up was the Bullfinch, and they love orchards as, of course, do other birds, such as Chaffinch and Song Thrush. The Wye Valley Walk runs through the area, so it is worth going north or southwards for a while and perhaps visit other nearby sites such as Lea & Pagets Wood (south) or Nupend Wood (north), both within a mile or so. The areas here on Common Hill were bought by the Trust with a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) grant in 1974 and 1984 and, since then, Monument Hill and part of North Meadow have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
1 From the car park, follow the sign up the hill through hedge and woodland and see Chaffinch, check for Brambling, Blackbird, Wren and Buzzard floating above. Crows and Jackdaws are here so it’s worth checking for Raven, too.
2 Then into an a