Advice and funding available for ancient woodland restoration in the Shropshire Hills 

Ancient woods are some of our most valuable habitats. Centuries of undisturbed soils and accumulated decaying wood have created the perfect place for communities of plants, fungi, insects and other micro-organisms. Birds and mammals, including vulnerable and threatened species, also rely on ancient woodlands.  

Around 5% of the Shropshire Hills AONB is classed as ancient woodland, but two thirds of this is Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS). These are ancient woodlands which have been largely felled and replanted with non-native species. Although damaged, these sites still have the complex soil of ancient woodland and can be restored with careful management.   

PAWS woodlands in the Shropshire Hills are mostly conifer trees which are now mature.  These may have value when extracted, while also restoring the woodland to a more natural state.  In partnership with the Woodland Trust, we have secured funding from the Forestry Commission to work with woodland owners to actively restore PAWS and ancient semi-natural woodlands in the AONB.  

The Ancient Woodland Restoration Project will identify priority and at-risk woodlands in the Shropshire Hills and engage with their owners, offering advice and condition assessments, fund practical management and support woodland products or timber marketing/sales. The project is intended to be at no cost to woodland owners and easy to access with minimal paperwork.

If you own woodland in the Shropshire Hills, you can check whether it is classed as ancient or PAWS by looking on the online Ancient Woodland Inventory.  There is a link to it, along with more information about the project on our webpage.

To register your interest in the project as a woodland owner, please email our Natural Environment Officer

Published by Shropshire Hills National Landscape on