Species Top Ten

To pique your interest, and provide an unashamed plug for our ‘Wild Wrekin‘ section (where you can read much more about the flora, fauna and habitat features of the Wrekin Forest), here’s our run down of the plants, animals and insects we think are most emblematic of the area

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher

If any of The Wrekin’s wild residents deserves the title ‘Icon of the Forest’ then surely it’s the Pied Flycatcher. Arriving in spring, this increasingly scarce bird of upland western Oak woodlands is at the edge of its range in east Shropshire.

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Climbing Corydalis

Climbing Corydalis

This delicate shade-loving plant is right at home clambering between the rocky outcrops of The Wrekin’s hilltop. Along with the native heather and bilberry it is indicative of an important fast-disappearing heathland habitat.

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Hart’s-tongue Fern

Hart’s-tongue Fern

With a name inspired by its likeness to a deer’s tongue, this instantly recognisable plant is certainly atypical of many of The Wrekin’s ferns. With its preference for damp, lime-rich soils it also gives a good indication of the diverse geology beneath the ground.

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Fallow Deer

Fallow Deer

The Fallow Deer has been a cornerstone species of the Wrekin Forest for over a thousand years. While often shy and retiring in its natural setting, a fleeting encounter with the area’s largest land mammal could await you at almost every turn.

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Sessile Oak

Sessile Oak

Taking over from English Oak on the sandy slopes of The Wrekin and The Ercall, Sessile Oak is among the most characterful of the forest’s many trees. This tall, stately species is home to many specialist insects including some very characterful butterflies and moths.

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Marsh Tit

Marsh Tit

With a tendency to forage close to the woodland floor, this gregarious bird can easily be seen in a number of Wrekin Forest locations. However, separating the species from its equally scarce Willow Tit cousin is most easily done by listening for its explosive, sneeze-like call.

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Raven

Raven

So synonymous is the largest of our native crows with The Wrekin, it even has a hilltop geological feature named in its honour. Thankfully, the distinctive calls and acrobatic antics of this striking bird are just as easy to detect as the Ravens Bowl itself.

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Slow Worm

Slow Worm

The former stone quarries of the Wrekin Forest provide perfect habitat for reptiles not least of which this elusive legless lizard. Happiest under deep cover, its distinctive metallic scales are best viewed in spring sunshine when it comes out to bask ahead of the breeding season.

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Common Bluebell

Common Bluebell

The Wrekin Forest is famed for its vivid displays of spring flowers and there are none better known than the Bluebell. This perennial favourite forms a vivid carpet across much of the area in April and May but is not nearly as common as it used to be.

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White-letter Hairstreak

White-letter Hairstreak

Wych Elm grows fairly abundantly in the Wrekin Forest and its twigs are a popular egg-laying destination for a treetop dwelling butterfly that feeds on honeydew. However, when that’s in short supply its distinctive markings can be seen much nearer ground level.

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