Thursday, 9 February 2017

Crickley Hill and Barrow Wake

Crickley Hill is a prominent spur of the Cotswold escarpment. It overlooks the Severn Vale, with magnificent views towards Robinswood Hill and May Hill, and the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain in Wales beyond.

There is evidence of human activity on the hill going back to 4,000 BC. The area called the Scrubbs takes its name from the brushwood that existed before the planting of the present beech woodland in the 18th century.

In 1974 it was declared an area of outstanding natural beauty. The site supports several types of grassland and the turf contains many lime-loving herbs. There are several species of orchid recorded such as Early Purple Orchid, Bee Orchid, and Musk Orchid. The site includes the Scrubbs and Crickley Woods which are areas of mature Beech woodland with regenerating Beech and Ash and Short Wood is an area of Oak parkland. The scarp slopes provide basking areas for Adders.

There is evidence of settlements over 5000 years old. As the soil is thin on the Hill the evidence lies close to the surface under the grassland. Findings point to occupation by humans over 4000 years (Neolithic period) to a post-Roman period.

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