The Downs support a rich insect fauna, including the increasingly rare glow worm, as well as strong colonies of several butterfly species, such as the marbled white, and green hairstreak.
Its habitats and topography mean that it also acts as an important stopping-off point for migrating birds such as stone chat and wheatear. Declining and rarer bird species including cuckoo, bullfinch, marsh tit, lesser spotted and green woodpecker, woodcock, and stock dove are all present. It also supports good breeding populations of farmland birds including yellowhammer and linnet.
There are wildflower meadows across the top part of the Downs with traditional grassland species such as harebell, yellow rattle, timothy grass and thousands of orchids creating magnificent displays in the summer.
Gorse and heather make up relict heathland patches with rarities like adders tongue fern and a variety of sedges and grasses in the wetter acid grassland areas. Other slopes are covered in bracken and support strong populations of the nationally declining common lizard and grass snake.
Springs and ponds provide wetland interest, though these were once much more extensive. While the Downs hold breeding populations of frogs, toads and all three species of newt, a partnership project led by Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team and HWT, funded by HLF aims to restore and revive the network of ponds across the wider landscape, thereby improving the habitat for these at risk species.
The National Trust owned Warren wood is predominantly beech, while other woodland patches scattered across the common are primarily a mix of oak, sycamore, ash and an area of hazel coppice. There are extensive networks of old hedgerows marking boundaries, many comprising damson, which were once heavily harvested for the dye industry.
Surveys of the flora and fauna on Bromyard Downs have been carried out through the project. Follow the links below to view reports, summaries and species lists. Some of these surveys are ongoing, get in touch if you would like more info, or want to get involved.
Butterflies - 2015 transect summary
2016 National Vegetation Classification survey - Report
Amphibians and Reptiles -
Herefordshire Biological Records Centre - all species records 1987 - 2009