Breinton has a number of areas of woodland, important for its wealth of species or biodiversity. Much of the woodland, especially all that bordering the River Wye, fits the criteria to be classed as ancient, while other areas have been planted recently. Different types of woodland are mapped on Natural England’s MAGIC maps. Some ancient, veteran and noble trees are mapped and described on the Woodland Trust’s interactive map.
Breinton Wood (open to public access)
Grid Reference: Between SO481391 and SO473395. This is a narrow band of woodland on a steep slope up from the meadows by the River Wye. The tithe map of 1840 shows woods here, though the east and west ends are both labelled as coppice. Today, the middle section does show the attributes of ancient woodland. There are several large, old trees and on the woodland floor species such as wood anemone, wood melick, wood millet, wood speedwell and goldilocks buttercup belong to the Ancient Woodland Vascular Plants list. In 2013 an ecological survey was carried out for the Herefordshire Parklands Project by the Herefordshire Nature Trust. See: File 6 Warham House Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
Green Bank (open to public access)
At the eastern end of Breinton Wood is Green Bank, Grid Reference SO 476 392. This is a Queen Elizabeth II Field in Trust, an open space for future generations to enjoy in the hamlet of Warham. This special designation was adopted in 2012 as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust Challenge, a national programme to protect and improve outdoor space for sport, play and recreation in commemoration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The field is named “Green Bank” on the tithe map of 1840.
The Green Bank interpretation board is 25m west of the Kissing gate on Warham Lane. Looking west on the brow of Green Bank are the London Plane and Turkey Oak planted c. 1750, and featured in the painting “The Lawns, Warham” by Brian Hatton (1887-1916), (as illustrated on the interpretation board). These trees are still there, and also the large Horse Chestnut tree shown in the distance in the Hatton painting.
Breinton Springs (open for public access, with car park)
Grid Reference: SO473395. Land close to the River Wye at Breinton Springs was acquired by the National Trust in 1966 from G. Marshall. A recent landslip has made the Springs themselves difficult to view, but the river bank is a popular place for walks and picnics. The National Trust also own the orchard close to St. Michael’s Church.
Drovers Wood (open for public access)
Grid Reference: SO477406. Drovers wood was established in 2001 by The Woodland Trust as a Woodland On Your Doorstep. The site was originally under arable. It was seeded with a non-vigorous grass seed mix prior to planting with mixed native broadleaves. Species include Ash, Pedunculate Oak, Field Maple, Rowan, Silver Birch and Crab Apple with woody shrubs such as Hazel, Hawthorn, Holly, Guelder Rose, Elder, Wild Privet and Spindle. Mature hedgerows dominated by blackthorn provide shelter on the south and west boundaries. A small number of large mature Oaks are present and one has been pollarded.
For full details see: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/5436/drovers-wood/
and for the Drovers Wood management plan (pdf file) see: http://preview.tinyurl.com/pay47p4
Wyevale Wood, also known as Green Lane Wood, or Primrose Wood (open for public access)
Grid Reference: SO472407. This is a reserve managed by Herefordshire Nature Trust. It is secondary woodland on an ancient woodland site, as suggested by the boundary banks and ditches. Broad-leaved helleborine, bluebells, lady’s smock and goldilocks buttercup grow beneath the tree canopy of oak trees.
For further information see: http://www.herefordshirewt.org/reserves/wyevale.htm
Land near Breinton Lee, King’s Acre, Hereford was surveyed as part of a planning application. Trees identified included:
- Hornbeam, (Carpinus betulus), with some stems once part of a hedge
- A large, mature Silver Pendant Lime (Tilia tomentosa “petiolaris”), noted as significant and valuable. The tree is one of several uncommon species that was planted in the vicinity by local nurseryman, Mr Williamson.
- A notable Turner’s Oak, (Quercus x turner) is growing immediately to the west, near 343 King’s Acre Road.
- A line of young lime trees (Tilia x europea)
Full details may be read in the Tree Survey and Arboricultural Constraints Report by Jerry Ross Arboricultural Consultancy, for Foxley Tagg Planning Ltd. (pdf file) http://preview.tinyurl.com/nrau9oh
(Compiled by Nichola Geeson, 2014)