The Christopher Cadbury Wetland Reserve between Droitwich Spa and Bromsgrove is the area’s premier birdwatching location. Drama unfolds throughout the year as spring migrants give way to breeding birds before birds on their autumn passage give way to those that spend the winter with us.
This fabulous wetland nature reserve, owned by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, comprises two sets of pools – the northern freshwater Moors Pools and the southern saline Flashes pools. The latter owe their existence to the historic brine extraction that the area is famous for.
The UK’s first inland breeding avocets settled in for the season at The Flashes in 2003 and birds have returned to breed here ever since. Avocets were extinct as a breeding bird in the UK by the 1840s but returned to the east coast in the 1940s when beaches were closed to the public as part of the war effort. We get excited by their presence in our inland county each spring when they return.
Upton Warren is home to breeding little ringed plover, lapwing and redshank. The reedbeds and surrounding hedgerows are home to reed buntings, reed warblers, bullfinches and greenfinches. Passage birds have included dunlin, sanderling, turnstone, bar-tailed godwit and much rarer birds such as Temminck’s stint and Baird’s sandpiper. Even the occasional otter is seen.
Both pools are accessible from the A38. Access to The Flashes is via Aztec Adventure opposite Webbs of Wychbold. Access to The Moors is about 600m north of here – there is a small car park along a narrow lane.
Wildlife Trust members should carry their membership card or buy a day permit for £3 from a volunteer warden or the Boatshack Café on site or from Lower Smite Farm in advance.
Photographs Credit: Wendy Carter, Pete Walkden, & Ruth Bourne