The Hudnalls National Nature Reserve
The Hudnalls NNR is a woodland occupying a prominent position on the eastern side of the Wye Valley gorge. It is a good example of semi-natural, unmanaged woodland, dominated by beech, oak, ash and lime. This lime-beech-oak woodland on strongly acid soils is virtually unknown outside the Lower Wye Valley. On top of some of the old walls across the reserve are pollarded trees, looking as if they are growing out of the rock. Spring is a particularly good time for the display of wild garlic and other wildflowers. Among the rare plants found here are thick-berried bramble and wood fescue. Birds include song thrush, hawfinch, wood warbler, starling and lesser spotted woodpecker. The woodland also features some rare crane flies. At the southern end of the reserve are several streams and waterfalls surrounded by tall trees creating dark, shady areas that favour a number of damp-loving species, especially bryophytes including bright silk moss.
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About The area
Gloucestershire is home to a variety of landscapes. The Cotswolds, a region of gentle hills, valleys and gem-like villages, roll through the county. To their west is the Severn Plain, watered by Britain’s longest river, and characterised by orchards and farms marked out by hedgerows that blaze with mayflower in the spring, and beyond the Severn are the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley.
Throughout the county you are never far away from the past. Neolithic burial chambers are widespread, and so too are the remains of Roman villas, many of which retain the fine mosaic work produced by Cirencester workshops. There are several examples of Saxon building, while in the Stroud valleys abandoned mills and canals are the mark left by the Industrial Revolution. Gloucestershire has always been known for its abbeys, but most of them have disappeared or lie in ruins. However, few counties can equal the churches that remain here. These are many and diverse, from the ‘wool’ churches in Chipping Campden and Northleach, to the cathedral at Gloucester, the abbey church at Tewkesbury or remote St Mary’s, standing alone near Dymock.
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