Conservation Fund Projects

The Conservation Fund is a small grant pot to supports projects to deliver practical conservation work and/or educational and awareness-raising activities relating to the Shropshire Hills and its conservation, especially involving young people.

March 2024, grants, totalling £19,953.30 were awarded to 14 projects

The projects have up to a year to complete their activity. As part of the grant claim, each project writes a short report to share results and any challenges that came up along the way (reports are uploaded onto this page for you to read).


Bushmoor Verges Project, Bushmoor Verges Group – grant £1,085

Enabling volunteers to continue practical work to restore their local roadside verges as good habitat for wildflowers, invertebrates, birds and small mammals. The group’s knowledge is shared with others to encourage best practice in managing verges. 

Lime mortar training workshop, Shropshire Mines Trust - £750

Snailbeach Lead Mine is an important heritage asset in the Shropshire Hills. The grant is supporting a one-day lime mortaring workshop for 6-8 Shropshire Mines Trust volunteers.  The training will enable them to carry out small scale repair and stabilisation works to the walls and buildings at the mine site.

People & Plants, Upper Onny Wildlife Group - £1,200

This project is delivering 9 training sessions (walks, surveys and workshops) in the Shropshire Hills for people interested in plants and fungi.  The sessions will teach people how to identify and record veteran trees, fungi, ferns and mosses as well as flowering plants, and encourages new people to get involved in active conservation.

Woodland Holiday Club, Branching Out – grant £1,500

This project is delivering affordable outdoor education and awareness-raising activities in an area of a native woodland. The 2 holiday clubs welcome children aged between 6-11 years old and 10 – 14-year-olds. The 9 sessions will incorporate nature knowledge, wildlife education, a sense of community, and will also carry out some conservation activities.

Protecting a wildflower site, Snailbeach Village Hall – grant £1,425

The grant is helping to fund fencing to be put around a small wildflower meadow to protect it from damage from mountain bikes and vehicles. The village hall car park is especially busy at weekends and school holidays with visitors to Snailbeach Mine, mountain bikers and walkers. 

3 Pine Marten Projects

Pine Martens are England's rarest mammals and were thought to be extinct in Shropshire for over 100 years.  More recently they are being found in local hubs. The Conservation Fund is supporting 3 projects to study the behaviour and distribution of pine martens in the Shropshire Hills. The data collected will be shared with other local and national networks focused on pine marten recovery.

  • Shropshire Mammal Group – grant £2,000

This project aims to increase the geographic spread of monitoring pine marten across the Shropshire Hills by empowering communities to get involved with camera trapping and den box surveys. Volunteers will be trained to install and monitor camera traps at 5 woodland sites. The project will also map habitat to identify where improvements and links are needed.

  • Wheathill Parish – grant £1,943.52

Following several unconfirmed sightings of pine marten in the Parish, the grant is supporting 5 trail cameras being installed along the 3 mile stretch of Cold Green Dingle, to monitor any activity.  Den boxes will be sited carefully chosen places to encourage resting and breeding places.  

  • Friends of Pontesford Hill – grant £500

Pine marten activity at Pontesford was first captured on camera in 2018. The project will enable a dedicated volunteer team of 15 people to monitor and record pine marten activity with 2 new camera traps.  The information will help to better manage the site for pine marten.

Woodland Work Area, Little Acorns at Rushbury – grant £1,449.78

The project will provide children with a purpose-built area outdoors along with equipment which will enhance their ability to learn and engage with nature within the Shropshire Hills.  It will help to better connect children to nature so that they care about it. 

Celebrating walking, Bishop’s Castle Walking Festival – grant £600

The Walking Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2025.  This project is helping to mark this special occasion by planting 25 Scots Pines as part of a new walking route in the Shropshire Hills.  An exhibition and leaflet will explain the heritage of Drovers’ routes and significance of Scots Pines in our local landscape.

Conserving Meadows, Marches Meadow Group – grant £1,500

Wildflower-rich meadows are rare and important habitats. The grant is supporting the Marches Meadow Group to hold a national meadow conference to raise awareness and share knowledge on restoring and managing meadows. Conservation activities are also happening across 3 meadow sites in the Shropshire Hills.  

Hill Stories 2024, Nick Fogg – grant £2,000

This project is about helping young people to explore and engage with Shropshire Hills landscape, its wildlife and heritage.  The participants will use digital technology to reflect on their experiences and create their own physical and digital media responses to share online.  An exhibition will showcase their work.  

Save our Curlew, Shropshire Ornithological Society - grant £2,000  

A project to improve the breeding success of curlew in the Stretton area.  Curlew nests will be identified and fenced to protect eggs from predation and agricultural activities.  Radio tags will be fitted to hatched chicks to track movements. Data is shared with other curlew forums to inform an effective local and national conservation plan. 

Youth Forum Rangers, South Shropshire Youth Forum – grant £2,000

The project is working with young people (aged 11-18), helping then to be involved in appreciating the Shropshire Hills landscape in which they live, and giving the opportunity to get actively involved in improving and conserving it.  The young people will help to develop this programme of natural heritage-based activities in the Clee Hill/Craven Arms area.

You can view other projects by clicking on these links:

The Conservation Fund is made up with donations from Friends of Shropshire Hills subscriptions, the Millichope Foundation and individual contributions.


Registered Charity no. 1168432