Restoring Rubery Hill’s Heathland

Rubery Hill SINC, approximately 1.5 km to the south of the Lickey HillsRubery Hill SINC

In late 2013, the Birmingham & Black Country Nature Improvement Area suppoprted a range of activities to restore and actively manage the heathland at Rubery Hill

Rubery Hill is an important heathland area in South Birmingham, linked to the heathlands of the Lickey Hills, approximately 1.5 km to the south. Due tot he underlying geology, acidic soil conditions are prevalent, which means that acidic type habitats dominate the site - heather-dominated dwarf shrub, acid grassland, gorse scrub, oak dominated woodland and colonising birch and oak scrub.  These habitats were however being adversley affected by factors relating to the management of the site. 

In the winter of 2013/14, work began to restore and actively manage this heathland area.  The Birmingham & Black Country Nature Improvement Area supported a range of activities to restore and enhance the site’s characteristic acidic habitats.

Works on the project included; the clearance of scrub from bog area to west of heathland plateau and herbicide treatment of stumps. Volunteers from Lickey Hills Country Park undertook these works, with support from the Ranger Service with ongoing management.

With advice from Natural England, the Birmingham City Council Ranger Service will bracken control the site on an annual ongoing basis and other activities will include the implementation of a five year rotational heather management cutting programme.

This project complemented the NIA’s objectives by helping to increase environmental volunteering. Further once completed, it will have aided the restoration and management of heather/acid grassland mosaic and bog at Rubery Hill SINC.