Status Report 2018

  • Northern Hills - even more tightly grazed than last year - the last breeding was 2014 anywhere on the Malvern high hills.
There has been a marginal decline to 8 territories in 2018 from 9 in the previous year, 2017:

  • There are still no skylarks on the high hills and meadow pipit numbers have reduced this year. Tight grazing was intensified and the grass  was shorter than ever on the high hills. (see photos in slide show above)
  • Poolbrook Common, which is managed as a late-cut meadow rather than grazed, continues to hold 2 territories, despite its heavy people and dog traffic
  • Castlemorton has remained at 3 territories but only in areas of lighter grazing. There are now none in the tightly-grazed area close to the Gullet Quarry – the photo above shows a dramatic reduction in sward height year on year and so a null return in this area was to be expected. Conversely in the area still holding skylarks the grass has stayed longer.  (see photos in slide show above)
  • Hollybed has dropped slightly from 4 to 3 territories, once again in the face of significant people and dog disturbance “as many as 15 -20 dogs running about at any one time”

The pattern continues to be – tight grazing, no skylarks, decent sward height, some skylarks even with significant human and canine disturbance. Map showing territories 2017 and 2018. (click to expand)