Lickey Hills Country Park: Circular Walk
The walk is approximately 1.5 miles. The numbers on the map correspond to numbered posts that you will pass on the route. Green posts are situated between the numbered posts to help you find your way.
1. Visitor Centre
Opened on Easter Sunday 1990, this has become a popular location for walkers and thousands of other visitors to the park. Leave the centre through the doors leading onto the car park and turn right. Go up the path, across the road and uphill on the grassy ride between the pine trees. This track takes you up onto Bilberry Hill. As you near the brow of the hill, go left along the path through the trees. Keep on this path until it joins the path with the post and rail fence. Carry on past the boulders to the viewpoint. Have a well-earned rest on the bench!
2. Beacon View
The highest point on the Lickey Hills can be seen from here. The Beacon is 975 ft above sea level. The toposcope was rebuilt here in 1988 to mark the park's centenary. The golf course was the first municipal course to be opened in Britain. After your rest, turn back and this time keep on the path with the post and rail fencing - you pass four ponds on the left before you reach the car park.
3. Bilberry Hill
This hill, together with Cofton Hill and Rednal Hill supports the largest track of bilberry heathland in both Worcestershire and the West Midlands. About 100m beyond the viewing platform, leave the path to the left of the fencing and go straight across the car park into the woods and then left along the forest track. Follow this, passing a fenced pond to the left and carry on towards a flagpole.
Made of a Norway spruce tree, this was erected in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. From this point, special attention is required to avoid taking the wrong path. A narrow path leads downhill away from the flagpole, this path runs parallel to the main path and takes you through a young plantation. If you are facing the view, this path is on your right. Follow this until you reach the main forest track once more.
5. Cofton Hill
This hill, together with Bilberry and Rednal Hills, form the Lickey Ridge. This is made of Lickey Quartzite which is around 570million years old. Go down the steps leading from the forest track - you will eventually join another forest track at the bottom.
6. The Douglas Firs
These large straight trees were first introduced in Britain in 1827. They are named after the Scottish botanist, David Douglas, who brought seed back from North America. Turn right at the bottom of the steps and look for another flight of steps about 30m along on your left. Go down these and follow the path through the wet area, bearing left before the fallen tree to a footbridge. Go over the bridge and carry straight on, turning right by the large oak tree.
7.The Lickey Coppice
The area to the left is being managed as 'coppice with standards' meaning that selected trees are cut down to encourage vigorous re-growth whilst other trees are left to grow to maturity. This provides a range of habitats which attract a great variety of vertebrate and invertebrate life. Follow this path and go down to the large bridge on the forest track. Turn left and follow the forest track uphill.
8. Forest/Bridle Track
There are approximately 5,000m of bridle track within the country park used by the rangers and forest workers. Go around the left hand bend and take the steep path to your right (about 300m along the track from the bridge). As you reach the top there is an open field in front.
9. Narborough's Field
This name refers to the woodland adjacent to the open field and suggests that the area was once used as farmland. Since it was last farmed the area has been allowed to revert naturally back to woodland. Look out for evidence of the old field management in the form of ridge and furrow. Take the right hand path (by the litter bin). After about 100m bear left keeping on the larger path and follow this track.
10. Lickey Warren
Some of the most common mammals to be seen are rabbits and the name of this area, together with the name of the road leading to the Visitor Centre (Warren Lane) indicates that rabbits are closely associated with this area. Take the right hand fork after post 10 and you will reach another forest track.
11. The Rhododendrons
Remnants of the old estate with Scots Pines and rhododendrons lining the sides of the bridle track and adding a rather more formal aspect to the area. Turn right and go gently downhill. After about 250m turn left off the forest track just before the bridle path marker (horse shoe on post). Follow the small path through the wood bearing right by the post marker.
12. Mixed woodland
This area contains a wide mix of trees including oak, sycamore, silver birch, beech and aspen as well as small larch and Scots pine plantations. Follow this track and you will come out just opposite the children's playground by the Visitor Centre.
From here you can play in the play area, have a well earned cuppa or do the walk again!