Gloucestershire and Worcestershire – United Kingdom


The counties of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire are located in the South Midlands of England. Gloucestershire borders South Wales and Worcestershire is just to the north with the suburbs of Birmingham in the north of the county. Gloucestershire has a population of almost one million with its major towns being Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, Lydney & Cinderford. Worcestershire’s population stands at almost 600,000, the main towns here are Worcester, Droitwich, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Redditch, Upton-upon-Severn, and Evesham.

Perhaps Gloucestershire’s most famed nature reserve is the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Reserve located on the east shores of the Severn Estuary. Established in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott, the reserve is home to impressive wintering waterfowl flocks. The shallow pools also hold large numbers of shorebirds, especially at high tide but many remain to feed on the pools too. Good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Northern Lapwing, and Common Snipe are among the commoner species, scarcer species such as Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Pied Avocet and Spotted Redshank can often be observed during migration periods. The birds at Slimbridge can be observed closely and photographed due to the impressive hides and blinds scattered around the reserve. Slimbridge is also an important conservation, education and research facility – it has assisted in many important projects through the years including being the base for the reintroduction of the Nené to the Hawaiian islands. It also holds the largest captive waterfowl collection in the world!

In the north of the county, you’ll find the town of Tewkesbury, the town lies in the flood plain of the confluence of the River Severn and Avon. There are some great nature reserves in the area such as Coombe Hill Nature Reserve and Ashleworth Ham on the Gloucestershire side of the border and Ripple Pits, Bredon’s Hardwick and Kinsham NR on the Worcestershire side. All of these locations hold impressive numbers of both waterfowl and shorebirds especially during winter and spring when the area is either flooded or recovering from recent floods

 Worcestershire has Bredon Hill, the northernmost outpost of the Cotswolds escarpment, and also the Malvern Hills which has the highest point in the area at 425 meters above sea-level at Worcestershire Beacon. These hills have some great breeding birds such as Meadow Pipit, Hawfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Green Woodpeckers and Common Redstart. They can be great for attracting migrants to the highest areas, including birds such as Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart, Snow Bunting, and even on occasion Horned Lark.

 Near Droitwich, the nearby Brine Pits Farm Photography hides are a great place for close-up photography for birds such as Common Kingfisher, Little Owl and Eurasian Kestrel.

 Owen visited both Gloucestershire and Worcestershire for four full days in October 2022, he visited many of the locations mentioned above including Slimbridge WWT, Cannot Ponds, Ripple Pits and Brine Pits Farm and photographed many birds including Common Kingfisher, Spotted Redshank, White-throated Dipper, Mandarin Duck, Coal Tit, European Robin, Great Tit, Eurasian Blackbird and Curlew Sandpiper

Birds found here