Worcestershire is a comparatively small county, only around 670 miles square, but for its size, it includes a remarkable range of habitats and wildlife. Geology and location are key to this rich variety. In the north-west, the thin-soiled Silurian rocks and Coal Measures are cloaked by the ancient oakwoods of the Wyre Forest.
Across the Severn, the sandy heaths around Kidderminster and Bewdley support plants and invertebrates more typical of East Anglian breckland. The south-west of the county is dominated by the igneous whalebacks of the Malvern hills looming over commons grazed for centuries.
In the south-east, the oolitic limestone of Bredon Hill is a northern outlier of the Cotswolds. In between lies farmland which although significantly modified by agricultural practices, still includes many ancient hedgerows and flower-rich meadows, for example in the Severn and Avon valleys.