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Lickey Hills Country Park Flora And Fauna
With the variety of different habitats to be found on the Country Park, it is hardly surprising that over 380 species of flowering plants, 350 species of fungi and 17 species of fern have been found at Lickey Hills so far.
The tops of Bilberry, Cofton and Rednal Hills boast fine expanses of heathland. Unusually this is dominated by bilberry, a plant more typical of true upland areas.
To many visitors it is the large conifer plantations, which typify the park. The established plantations are dominated by Scots pines, Douglas firs, Norway spruce and larches, but a keen naturalist will also identify noble firs, western hemlocks and Corsican pines scattered among them.
Little grows on the forest floor because of the shade although fungi can flourish. One of the most striking is the orange coloured coral fungus - even though it is less than 4cm tall.
The woodlands around Lickey Warren, were planted less than 150 years ago. Birch and sweet chestnut are the predominant trees along with some holly and birch.
A good example of ancient woodland is in the southern end of the park at Pinfield Wood. Oak, hazel, rowan and birch are common here.
In the spring the whole area around the wood is covered by bluebells. Adding to the array of colour are white flowered wood sorrel, wood anemone, foxgloves, speedwells, stitchworts and buttercups.
Travelling down the slope from the Visitor Centre, over 70 species of tree are found in the arboretum including exotic pines, spruces, cypresses, redwoods, maples and birches along with beeches and oaks.
With so many different habitats, a wide range of wildlife thrives at the park. Creepy-crawly life, beetles, millipedes, centipedes, bugs, snails and slugs can be found on many old logs. Along with flies, bees, lacewings, dragonflies, butterflies and moths, they provide a diet for the larger residents of the Hills.
Many common species of birds are found at the Hills, including the robin, chaffinch, great tit, blue tit, wood pigeon and sparrow hawk.
Regular migrants include warblers, tree pipits and redstarts in the summer, whilst redwing and fieldfair visit in the winter.
Surprisingly, reptiles are also common on site. The damper deciduous woodlands are home to a healthy grass snake population.
The heathland is home to two further reptiles; the adder and the common lizard. Sightings of these are uncommon but most frequent on balmy summer days when they bask on the open rocky areas of the hills. Many mammals live throughout the park. Most common are grey squirrels and rabbits. Seldom seen but also present in large numbers, are wood mice and shrews.