- Wyre Forest
Wyre Forest is a large, semi-natural
woodlandand forestwhich straddles the borders of Worcestershireand Shropshire, England.
Wyre Forest district takes its name from this
forest, despite the fact that much of this woodlanddoes not lie within the district's boundaries, but rather in Shropshire.
The forest covers an area of 2,634
hectares (6,509 acres), and is noted for its variety of wildlife. Although now the Wyre Forest has been much deforested, it still extends from east of the A442 at Shatterford, north of Kidderminsterin the east, almost to Cleobury Mortimerin the west and from Upper Arleyin the north to Areley Kings, near Stourport in the south. It is one of the largest remaining ancient woodlands in Britain. The Forestry Commissionlooks after around half of today's forest. Around two thirds of the forest has been designated as SSSI, while a further fifth is listed as a National Nature Reserve. The Dowles Brook flows through the heart of the forest, and the A456road also runs through the southern edge of the woodland.
It is one of the largest areas of semi-natural
woodlandin the UK. Wildlife species to be found in the forest include Hawfinch, Fallow Deer, Dipper, Common Crossbill, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, and Long-eared Owlamong many other woodland birds and plants.
This historic extent of the Wyre Forest is debatable. Leaflets distributed in recent times have included Eymore Wood, in
Kidderminster Foreignon the opposite bank of the River Severn, but that was merely a tract of woodland belonging to the Worcester Cathedral. Another view is that once it stretched from Worcesterto Bridgnorthbut the west bank, but that is almost certainly too great. Strictly Wyre Forest was not a forest at all, but a chase of the Mortimer family, who had the title Earl of Marchfrom 1328. It belonged to their manor and liberty of Cleobury Mortimer. Legally, only the crown can have a forest, a subject could only have chases.
How far north the Mortimer family's hunting rights extended is debatable, but it may have included the whole area in south east Shropshire of which they were overlords at the time of
Domesday Book. While they may have had hunting rights there, much of the woodland in fact belonged to other manors, such as Upper Arleyand Kinlet. A large tract of woodland on the north side of the Dowles Brookwas Kingswood, a detached township of the parish of Stottesdon. The townof Bewdley, a Mortimer foundation, may have been cut out of the forest. Far Forestwas until recent times part of the borough of Bewdley, though separated from the rest of it by New Parks, which were in Rock parish. Most rights to land in the forest belonged to these medievalmanors.
The rights of the Mortimer family passed to the crown as a result of the accession of Edward IV, who was (amongst other things) previously
Earl of Marchto the crown. Its description as 'forest' probably dates from that period.
The extent of woodland two to three centuries ago was probably similar to that today. The manor of
Cleobury Mortimerwas alienated in the 16th century, leaving the crown only with the manor of Bewdley and Far Forest. Historical references to the Wyre Forest in this period seem to relate to this rather smaller area owned by the crown. In fact the crown's involvement was slight as its rights were leased to local gentlemen. One series of leases related to the manor of Bewdley, but another concerned something called the 'Wyre Forest'. This may have related to Far Forest, but that is not clear.
In the 17th century and
18th century, the forest was intensively managed as coppice to provide cordwood for the production of charcoal. The charcoal was used to fuel ironforges at Cleobury Mortimer, and at Wilden and elsewhere in the Stour valley. These supplied iron from manufacture into finished iron goods mainly in the Black Country. Charcoal burning continued into the 20th century.
A branch off the
Severn Valley Railwayknown as the "Tenbury Line" once ran through the Wyre Forest. It broke off the main line north of Bewdley and crossed the River Severnat Dowles Bridge, the piers of which still remain. The main track has long been dismantled but survives in the form of a well known walking route through the forest on the level trackbed.
* [http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/wildwoods.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/EnglandWorcestershireNoForestWyreForest Wild Woods at Wyre Forest]
* [http://www.wyreforest.net/ Wyre Forest Visitor Centre]
* [http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?client=public&X=375000&Y=275000&width=700&height=400&gride=375499.999999475&gridn=275499.89462663&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=grid&pc=&zm=0&scale=100000&multimap.x=317&multimap.y=118 Aerial Photo]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3098896 www.geograph.co.uk : photos in and around the Wyre Forest today]
Norman E. Hickin, "The Natural History of an English Forest: The Wild Life of Wyre" (Hutchinson, London 1971).
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Wyre Forest — District Lage in Worcestershire Status District Region West Midlands Verw.grafschaft Worcestershire … Deutsch Wikipedia
Wyre Forest — ▪ district, England, United Kingdom district, administrative county of Worcestershire, west central England, in the northern part of the county. Nearly all of the district lies in the historic county of Worcestershire, except for an area… … Universalium
Wyre Forest (UK Parliament constituency) — UK constituency infobox Name = Wyre Forest Map1 = WyreForest Map2 = Worcestershire Type = County Year = 1983 Entity = Worcestershire County = Worcestershire EP = West Midlands MP = Richard Taylor Party = Health ConcernWyre Forest is a county… … Wikipedia
Wyre Forest (district) — For the woodland in Shropshire and Worcestershire, see Wyre Forest for the district in Lancashire, see Wyre Wyre Forest is a local government district in Worcestershire, England, covering the towns of Kidderminster, Stourport on Severn and… … Wikipedia
Wyre (disambiguation) — Wyre may be:* Wyre borough, a district in Lancashire, England ** the River Wyre after which it is named * Wyre Forest (district) in Worcestershire, England ** Wyre Forest after which it is named * Afon Wyre (Welsh for River Wyre ), a river in… … Wikipedia
Forest District — could refer to:In Australia: * Forest District (Sydney)In the UK: * Epping Forest (district) * New Forest (district) * Wyre Forest (district) * Forest of Dean (district)In the USA: * Forest Preserve District of DuPage County * Cook County Forest… … Wikipedia
Wyre — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Wyre peut désigner : Wyre, un district du Lancastre en Angleterre ; Wyre, une île des Orcades en Écosse ; Wyre Forest, un district du… … Wikipédia en Français
Forest of Bowland — Geobox Protected Area name = Forest of Bowland native name = other name = other name1 = category local = category iucn = image size = image caption = Ward s Stone, the highest point in the Forest of Bowland country = England region = Lancashire… … Wikipedia
Royal forest — A royal forest is an area of land with different meanings in England, Wales and Scotland; the term forest does not mean forest as it is understood today, as an area of densely wooded land. There are also differing and contextual interpretations… … Wikipedia
River Wyre — Location map Lancashire lat=53.923282 long= 3.004376 width=180 float=right caption= Wyre estuary shown within Lancashire (gbmapping|SD340479)The River Wyre is a river in Lancashire, England, which flows into the Irish Sea at Fleetwood. It is… … Wikipedia