Cherry Orchard, Diglis


Worcestershire Wildlife Consultancy was commissioned by Worcester City Council to undertake
invertebrate and plant surveys of Cherry Orchard, Diglis in the south of Worcester. The aim of these
surveys was to improve knowledge of the wildlife value of the site, with an emphasis on identifying
species and habitats of conservation importance, in order to improve understanding of the site and
to enable a clearer focus of management.


Cherry Orchard lies on the floodplain of the River Severn in the south of the city of Worcester at
grid reference SO85053l. This was once a low-lying marshy area between the river and the river
terrace but now comprises two distinct areas: a short-mown recreation ground in the north of the
site and a former municipal tip in the south. In 1987, after tipping ceased, this latter area was
capped with clay sub-soil, raising the ground seven to eight metres above its original level. The
grassed area is uneven, with numerous small mounds and hollows; this has developed into a mosaic
of rough grassland with scattered scrub, bramble thickets, tall ruderal vegetation, scrub and osier
beds. On the west side of the site, a dense stand of Himalayan balsam and nettles adjoins the tree-
lined banks of the River Severn. Dredgings from the river have been tipped in the north-west of the
capped area, forming a large sandy mound.

The banks of the Duck Brook form the southern and south-west boundaries of the site. To the east is
housing, with industrial units to the north and west of the recreation ground and the River Severn
forming the west boundary of the old landfill site.

The recreation ground is regularly mown to create a short turf. Management of the old landfill site
is minimal, although some clearing of scrub and bramble thickets is carried out.

The site is open to the public and is popular with dog-walkers and as a play-ground for children and
a meeting place for teenagers.


Past survey data relating to the site is given in Appendix 9.4. The site has also been part of a
number of survey projects, outlined below.

* Worcester’s Green Spaces report (1990). Worcester Nature Conservation Trust (1990).
A plant and habitat survey was carried out on the site in 1987.

* Brown argus butterfly in Worcestershire and Warwickshire (1994). Barker,        S.R.J. (1994).
The butterfly was recorded on the site in 1990.

* Slow worm survey of Worcester City 1997. Shepherd, A.G. (1997).

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