Ancient woodland restoration in the Shropshire Hills
In partnership with the Woodland Trust, the AONB team have secured funding from the Forestry Commission for this project until March 2025.
Ancient woodlands are those which have been there continuously since 1600, and due to their age and lack of disturbance have rich communities of plants, fungi, insects and other micro-organisms. They occupy about 5% of the Shropshire Hills AONB which is double the UK average level.
However, not all of these woods are protected, and two thirds of the AONB’s ancient woods are classified as ‘Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites’ as they have been planted with conifer trees. This harms the native woodland ecosystem, but they often retain some ancient woodland characteristics such as in the soil organisms, and can be restored by careful management.
The project will identify priority and at risk ancient woodlands in the Shropshire Hills and engage with their owners, offering advice and condition assessments, with the aim of leading to active restoration of 30 hectares of woodland.
Published by Shropshire Hills National Landscape on