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 the following 8 projects in 2021-22:
Pollinator garden at Lower Bush Farm
The farm is a not-for-profit care farm which welcomes adults with learning disabilities, teenagers with mental health difficulties and children and young people with a variety of special educational needs and disabilities. The project enabled the young people to create a pollinator garden as part of their Countryside Management unit to learn about pollinators, healthy habitats and how to increase numbers at the farm and at home.
Lower Bush Farm CIC – grant £2,000 Project Report
This project delivered affordable outdoor education and awareness-raising activities relating to the Shropshire Hills, and its conservation. The sessions combined Forest School education with local nature knowledge, professional knowledge, and with a flare of seasonal relevance. The project was as inclusive as possible by welcoming children (aged between 6-11 years old) of all walks of life into the woodland through being affordable to the majority, and offering two free places for households with a lower-income.
Toni Pettitt– grant £1,780 Project Report
Norbury Hill ecological survey & bracken control
Norbury Hill is an important conservation ‘stepping stone’ between the Long Mynd and Stiperstones. Working with the neighbouring farm, MMCLT commissioned a baseline ecological survey and report to be written for Norbury Hill (250 acres) to guide medium/ long term conservation management. The hill supports breeding skylark, meadow pipits and is a feeding ground for kestrel, curlew and snipe. The grant also supported volunteers to carry out bracken control using had tools.
Middle Marches Community Land Trust (MMCLT) - grant £1,500
Hopton Castle Verges & Tree Planting
Hopton Castle is open to the public. The grant enabled the local community to replant trees in the grounds of the castle which have been lost in recent storms. Wildflowers were also planted on the approaches to the castle and the motte to enhance biodiversity and provide an attractive space to enjoy and picnic in for visitor to the castle and local residents.
Hopton Castle Preservation Trust – grant £816.89 final report
Save our Curlew
This was a joint project with the Stretton Community Wildlife Group to improve Curlew breeding success in the Stretton area by protecting nests using electric fences to protect the eggs from predation and agricultural activities, fitting radio tags to hatched chicks to track them to find out how they use the landscape, and what happens to them. Volunteers helped with sightings and surveys. Understanding the reasons for low levels of chick survival is the key to an effective local and national conservation plan.
Sustainable Charcoal Making
This project enabled members of the Knighton Community Woodland Group to make charcoal using the small timber and brash coppiced from their woodlands. The grant funded the purchase of a charcoal retort and equipment needed to make and sell sustainably produced charcoal. Two one-day training courses were held to demonstrate charcoal making using a retort to other interested community groups in the Shropshire Hills.
Knighton Community Woodland Group – grant £1,293.75 Project Report
Bushmoor Verges Project
This project brought together the residents of Bushmoor hamlet to restore their local roadside verges to encourage wildflowers and create wildlife corridors. The project involved an ecological survey, ground works and planting/seeding as recommended by the report. Volunteers helped with the surveys and in planting/seeding the verge. Photographs were taken to record the verge progress.
This project introduced secondary school pupils at Bishop’s Castle Community College to biodiversity and its value in local woodlands, wild places and the local environment. The students carried out practical activities as part of the school’s fortnightly enrichment sessions, learning how good land management can increase biodiversity. Activities included ‘wilding’ the green areas around the college, raising trees in pots for planting out, and planting a sensory garden.
Lightfoot Enterprises - grant £2,000 Project Report
You can view past projects by clicking on these links:
The Conservation Fund is made up with donations from Friends of Shropshire Hills AONB subscriptions, the Millichope Foundation, 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