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 2022-23:
Save our Curlew
Shropshire Ornithological Society - grant £2,000
A joint project with the Upper Clun and Clee Hill Community Wildlife Group to improve breeding success of curlew through action on the ground. 35+ volunteers are involved to help find the curlew nests. Electric fencing is then put around nests to protect the eggs from predation and agricultural activities. Radio tags are fitted to chicks to track how they use the landscape. The project findings will be reported to local and national curlew forums. Understanding the reasons for low levels of chick survival is the key to an effective local and national conservation plan.
Bushmoor Verges Project
Bushmoor Verges Group – grant £1,285
This project is enabling the volunteers of the Bushmoor Verges Group to continue to restore the local verges as good habitat for wildflowers, invertebrates, birds and small mammals. Practical work includes removal of dominant species such as Hogweed from the verges, cutting, collecting seed and scarifying to encourage a diversity of flowering plants. These activities will be documented throughout the year and experiences and knowledge gained shared with others to encourage best practice in managing local roadside verges.
All Stretton Playground Nature Enhancement
Restoring Shropshire’s Verges Project – grant £730
This project is enabling volunteers to create a wildflower meadow and new hedgerow on the site of a children’s playground in All Stretton. This will create an opportunity for local and visiting families to get closer to nature and receive health and wellbeing benefits from contact with nature whilst using the play area. The area will be roped off this winter to allow the seeds to establish. New play equipment is being installed by the All Stretton Village Society.
Verges, Hedges & Churchyards Project
Restoring Shropshire’s Verges Project – grant £2,000
The grant is awarded to facilitate collaboration between three existing nature conservation projects in the Shropshire Hills (verges, hedgerows and burial grounds) enabling them to achieve a bigger impact by linking habitats and enhancing wildlife corridors/networks. The project will engage communities through public events to identify sites, such as care homes, schools, clinics and pubs with an interest in developing mini meadows, hedgerow an/or verge restoration projects.
Llanfair Triangle for Nature & People
Llanfair Waterdine Community Trust – grant £1,000
A community project to look after a popular site on Llanfair Hill, alongside the Offa’s Dyke National Trail footpath. The funding will support a basic ecological survey to identify what is there in terms of plants, invertebrates and birds and advice on how to best manage the site for wildlife, including curlew which breed in the area. The survey will also act as a training session for volunteers to discover more about the site and its value as good habitat. Practical work will include habitat management and installing a bench, which is being made locally using local timber.
On Whinberry Hill
Clunbury Parish Council – grant £2,000
Until the 1940s, the Black Hill in the Parish of Clunbury was open heathland and was the best of the local hills for Whinberries. Subsequently planted with conifers, just nine acres of the Hill remained open – it was common land, but it is now overwhelmed by Bracken, self-seeded Sitka Spruce are getting well-established and the Whinberries are disappearing. The project aims to win them back. The grant is supporting the felling of Sitka Spruce, bracken control, an information board and community engagement.
Rejuvenating old Black Poplars at Crowsnest Dingle
S Cooke & Partners – grant £1,940
The Shropshire Hills is home to a significant proportion of the national population of black poplars - estimated at only 7000 trees. This project is supporting tree surgery to rejuvenate 5 black poplars which need a 20-30% crown reduction to ensure they remain in our landscape for many years to come. A local tree surgeon will carry out the work and an article in the parish newsletter and signage will explain why the trees are being reduced.
Hedge laying courses
Clee St Margaret Village Hall – grant £1,100
The project is supporting two hedge-laying courses for between 6 to 8 people. This will offer training to local people enabling them to manage hedgerows both on their own land and in the local community. The course will take place on the hedges at the village hall, which will benefit from being restored and the project will be promoted through local parish newsletters.
You can view other projects by clicking on these links:
- Conservation Fund projects 2021-22
- Conservation Fund projects 2020-21
- Conservation Fund projects 2019-20
The Conservation Fund is made up with donations from Friends of Shropshire Hills 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