Shropshire Hills AONB Trust
The Conservation Fund is a small grant pot to support practical projects which help conserve, enhance and raise awareness of the Shropshire Hills landscape.
Grants were awarded to 8 projects in 2020-21. Due to the Covid Pandemic, most of the projects defered to begin in 2021, and some changed their outputs:
Restoring Roadside verges
Restoring the roadside verges in Edgton started a couple of years ago, supported by the Conservation Fund. This grant was awarded to buy wildflower plugs and seeds to improve damaged verges and to extend verge restoration around the village. Discussions with Shropshire Council Highway Department continue regarding verge management and cutting regime to enhance the verges for wildlife.
Edgton Village Meeting – grant £1,000, Project Report
The aim is to preserve and enhance the roadside verges and hedgerows in the village to provide valuable habitat for plants, insects and small mammals. The village ‘Wildflower Verges Group’ bought together range of people who previously didn’t know each other, and it is hoped that wildflower rich verges will give villagers a sense of wellbeing. The grant will support a professional survey of all the village verges and hedgerows to draw up a plan for future work. These surveys will also be a training opportunity for volunteers. Cutting, raking, scarifying and seeding the verges will also be undertaken by volunteers.
Grassland for Curlew
This project is trialling different grassland management techniques to improve suitability for breeding curlew. Working with volunteer farming partners in the Shropshire Hills, the project will trial and cost alternative and novel mowing regimes to vary the height of grass. The aim is to provide a better food source for the curlew chicks and greater protection from some predators. The results will be used to inform future management and include costs per acre per operation.
Curlew Country - grant £2,000, Project Report
Exploring Wild Wood
This project introduced secondary school pupils at Bishop’s Castle Community College to the diversity of woodlands, demonstrating how they can be managed for enjoyment, biodiversity and for wood fuel production. The students visit different woodland sites in the AONB to carry out practical activities including tree planting, building shelters, woodland management, a fungi foray and exploring woodland wildlife. The project will also be sharing its knowledge and activities with a group of teachers who have set up Marches Climate Education Group at a workshop being held in Hereford.
Craven Arms Young Rangers
20 young people, aged 10-18, helped to develop a management/ activity plan for a local woodland site. They will identify what is in the woodland, what is the potential to improve habitat and what practical work needs doing to make a training base for future Young Ranger activity. The six woodland activities days will involve tree and plant identification, mapping species and places of interest, clearing and creating space for a base and better access.
South Shropshire Youth Forum - grant £1,684, Project Report
Save our Curlew
This is a joint partnership project with the Upper Clun and Clee Hill Community Wildlife Groups. The project aims to improve Curlew breeding success in the Upper Clun and Clee hills area, through action on the ground. 70+ volunteers from the two community wildlife groups will helped with sightings and surveys.
Shropshire Ornithological Society - grant £2,000, Project Report
Harvesting Meadow Plant Seed for Sward Enhancement
The grant supported the purchase of a seed harvester to collect meadow plant seed from local species-rich meadows. The seed will be used on suitable areas of currently species-poor grasslands, including Marches Meadow Group members’ fields, lawns, road verges, public open spaces, school grounds and churchyards in and around the Shropshire Hills. The aims are to increase the number and area of species-rich grasslands and increase the opportunities for meadow plants and animals to move between existing meadows.
Marches Meadow Group - grant £2,000, Project Report
Mammal & Bat Recording
Abdon District Community Wildlife Group - grant £300
A small grant was awarded to enable the Community Wildlife Group (CWG) to purchase a bat detector and identification guides. With help from Shropshire Bat Group and Mammal Group, the CWG plan to record the bat and mammal species in their area. Other local CWGs will be welcome to borrow the detector.
You can view other projects by clicking on these links:
- Conservation Fund projects 2022-23
- Conservation Fund projects 2021-22
- Conservation Fund projects 2019-20
The Conservation Fund is made up with donations from Friends of Shropshire Hills AONB subscriptions, the Millichope Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Martin Wills Wildlife Maintenance Trust, Moonshine and Fuggles, and individual contributions.
To support similar projects, you can make a donaton to the Shropshire Hills AONB Trust:
The Shropshire Hills AONB Trust, Registered Charity no. 1168432