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Birches Farm

Birches Farm, on the outskirts of Kington, offers a rare window to a landscape now long forgotten. Centuries of protection from the plough and modern fertilisers has preserved a stunning array of wild flowers across this beautiful patch work of fields and hedgerows. The Farm is now recognised as a nationally significant site by DEFRA and Natural England, and has been designated England’s newest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

 

Important note: Please adhere to signage at the site and do not enter any of the farm buildings or private houses and gardens.

The map below shows the new area created for parking and the route of a mown path around the site for visitors to follow. We are continuing to improve the access and interpretation on the site and are planning an official 'Grand Opening' in 2018 - though visitors are welcome to visit the site now.

 

 

Birches Farm is a vestige of a rural life and a rural landscape, all but obliterated by the exigencies of our modern world. Here, laid hedges, staked with hazel poles, are rustling and bustling with wildlife; the meadows they border are thick with wildflowers and the hum of insects; cool, shallow ponds teem with life above and below the surface.

A scene far removed from the stretching hectares of today’s farmed fields, this small, 60 acre farmstead remains a patchwork of smaller fields. Birches Farm has been traditionally managed through the centuries– grazed by sheep and cattle and cut each summer for hay while centuries-old hedgerows of hawthorn, blackthorn, rowan and hazel form semi-natural field boundaries.

As the land has had very limited use of artificial pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers, a diverse mix of grasses and wild flowers now flourish across the Farm including harebells, orchids, devil’s bit scabious, betony and dyers greenweed. This diversity in turn supports a wider range of insects and all-important pollinators.

Through the generousity of many donors we purchased the site and have secured the future of this wonderful SSSI grassland. We are currently working on finalising the plans for the buildings.

  • Events that are organised at the Farm are publicised well in advance on our What's On pages.

Click here to see Birches Farm on film


   

 

 

Species and habitats

Habitats
Farmland, Meadow, Ponds

Nearby nature reserves

Quebb Corner Meadow
1 miles - Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
Upper Welson Marsh
2 miles - Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
Holywell Dingle
2 miles - Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Birches Farm,
near Kington
Herefordshire
HR5 3EY
Map reference
SO 296 538
Great for...
Insect spotting
ancient trees
birdwatching
butterflies
fungi
geological interest
getting away from it all
historical interest
overwintering birds
spring flowers
stunning views
wildflowers
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Size
24.00 hectares
Status
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Access
No

Parking
Parking area for several cars
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Sheep and cattle are grazed at the site so please ensure you close all gates behind you and keep dogs on leads.
Reserve manager
Tel: 01432 356872
enquiries@herefordshirewt.co.uk