Clent Hills nature's harvest walk
Sitting only 8 miles (12.8km) outside Birmingham, the hills offer a haven of peace and tranquillity, with beautiful woodland and plenty of wildlife, perfect to blow away the cobwebs with an autumn ramble.
Enjoy a spectacular myriad of autumn colours in the woodland
Join the many day-trippers who have travelled to the Clent Hills from nearby towns and cities for more than 200 years.
Nimmings Wood car park, grid ref: SO938807
From Nimmings café, climb up a gentle zig-zag slope into the woodland. Turn right and follow the lower path leading down into woodland. At the next crossroad, again stick to the lower path taking you around the boundary fence of Hagley Hall Estate.
As you wander through the ancient woodlands, look out for berries to pick from bushes and trees. You will also notice deadwood lying around the woodland floor, this forms an important part of the cycle of tree health by adding nutrients back into the soil and providing a habitat for many invertebrate species, which in turn attract birds and mammals.
Continue to follow the same path round the boundary fence, which becomes a red brick wall. Parts of this path can get very muddy, but if you've got your wellies it's a great place to see the beautiful autumn colours and is a more peaceful area of the hillside. You may be lucky enough to spot deer around here too.
Beautiful autumn colours
As you walk through woodland in the Clent Hills you'll be greeted with a spectacular myriad of autumn colours and bustling wildlife. You may notice lots of old beech pollards. These are 250-year-old trees, which were cut just above head height so that they sprouted a mass of branches low down, providing food for livestock. Today, they are home to insects, beetles and nesting birds.
The path will take you to New Pool, a natural pond awash with autumn colour from the surrounding mixed deciduous woodland. Leave the path that you have been following and take the smaller path to your left. Follow this path up to the open grassland, where you will be able to see the Hill Tavern pub down to your right.
Grassland and woodland
The open grassland and woodland provides plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, in particular wintering birds. Redwing, wintering thrush and fieldfare can all be spotted from October onwards. Redwing with its distinctive creamy stripe above its eyes and orangey-red flank, is the UKs smallest thrush and is a threatened species, due to a decline in breeding activity over the last 50 years. Migrating birds, such as wheatear and ring ouzels, might make an appearance too.
Walk towards the pub and when you get to the wooden gate, before the road, take the lower path which runs alongside the fence. This takes you up to a bench, have a seat and admire the great views of the Adam's Hill side of Clent village. Follow this path round and look out for a wealth of blackberry bushes to your right. After you've collected a great stash of berries to take home with you, continue along the path as it takes you back up to the top of Clent. Continue to walk along the top, past the Scots Pine Plantations and back toward the topograph.
We are committed to restoring dry acid grassland, now a rare habitat throughout the UK. It was once prevalent on Clent, when animals grazed the land to keep down any new plant growth by eating seeds and shoots before they could establish themselves. When the animals were removed, scrub, bracken and trees started to take over and the grassland and wildlife it supported was lost. Through careful management plants, such as bilberry, sheep sorrel and heath bedstraw, are returning, encouraging birds, like linnets; butterflies, such as small copper; and solitary bees.
At the topograph, you might like to take a look at the different hills and towns you can see from here. There are amazing views of the Cotswolds, Shropshire Hills and Welsh borders. Always changing depending on the weather, one visit is never the same and never enough to take it all in. Take the lower path below the topograph and to your right you will see areas of dry acid grassland, with bilberry bushes full of fruit. This path will take you back towards the car park and café, which is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, and serves hot food and drinks, including luxury hot chocolate.
Nimmings Wood car park, grid ref: SO938807
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