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Summer 2015 NEWSLETTER

Friday July 31st, 2015 | Stephanie

Buzzes at breakfast time on BBC Radio Shropshire

screen grab from film for newsletterEvery morning in June children from Chirbury, Stiperstones and Pontesbury Primary Schools were on Radio Shropshire with their Buzzes. The Buzzes were the culmination of a series of fun workshops in the schools delivered by local specialists and ourselves. The programme worked across the curriculum particularly linking with literacy and science, and the children learnt new presentation skills, helping to build their confidence. Each child chose a particular pollinator species to research and presented their findings which were taped ready for Radio Shropshire to broadcast. If you missed the Buzzes on the Breakfast Show, you can ‘listen again’ via BBC Radio Shropshire’s website, the Buzzes were broadcast around 7.55am each morning in June. A short film about the project has been made by Shropshire Media Network and is available to view here. For more information about the Buzz in the Borders project please contact Amanda Perkins on 01938 561741 or email info@stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk.

Celebrating local heritage scarecrow style

hedgelayingThrough our Down to Earth project we were able to support this year’s Beach Party, which is organised by community groups from the parishes of Snailbeach and Stiperstones. Activities over the Party weekend included a guided tour of Tankerville Mine, the village fete at Snailbeach and the much enjoyed scarecrow competition themed ‘celebrating local heritage’. Down to Earth is a grant pot to fund local community projects which conserve and celebrate local heritage. If you live in the Snailbeach/ Stiperstones area we’d love to hear what you value about your local area. Let us know your thoughts and any project ideas you have by filling in our online survey.  For more information please contact Community Officer, Joe Penfold on 01938 561741 or email info@stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk.

New machinery to help with meadow management

IMG_0785 (low res)Members of the newly named Marches Meadow Group are soon to be the proud recipients of this small tractor and hay making machine. This has been purchased by the Scheme through the Wildflower Meadows, Pastures and Verges project to encourage best practice in conserving and enhancing species rich grassland.  The machinery is being operated by contractor Jo Dando, from Montgomery, and will be of great benefit to members, helping them to restore and better manage their grassland. This summer wildflower rich green hay from a county wildlife site has been spread over two meadows (2.5 acres) in the Habberley/Pontesbury area. In return, the donor meadow’s hay is being cut free of charge.  If you want more information about the the Group, membership and the benefits of joining, please contact JP Brayford on 01938 561741 or email info@stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk.

The formal launch of the Marches Meadow Group is being held on 5 August, 7.30pm, at The Crown Inn, Wentnor.

New discoveries at Roundton

Project partners CPAT (Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust) and Shropshire Council Historic Environment Roundton survey 1 from Hugh HannafordTeam have been training volunteers in archaeological fieldwork for our project, Helping Hillforts and Earthwork Castles. Roundton Hillfort is just one of the medieval castle and iron-age hillfort sites under scrutiny and recently, fieldwork confirmed presence of a Bronze Age cairn, as well as a medieval enclosure – a probable dwelling on the slopes of the hill. A report detailing these finds is due to be published in Archaeology in Wales and will be available on our website alongside the project report, later this year. We have also planned a guided walk on 3 October on Roundton.  Follow the links for details of forthcoming fieldwork surveys at Stapeley Common on 12 August and 28 August.

Lobster, magpie and elephant-hawk

Lobster moth courtesy of Jenny Steel.

Lobster moth courtesy of Jenny Steel.

Our series of moth evenings are coming to a close with the last event at The Bog Mine on 7th August. Weather conditions were far from perfect on our first evening at Snailbeach where only 25 species were recorded. The following events at Nills Quarry, Poles Coppice and Earl’s Hill proved to be excellent with over 100 species recorded each time, many of which are new records for the sites. These surveys form part of our Rescuing Rocks project to improve valuable habitats across the Scheme area. Moth expert, Dave Green, led the surveys.  His highlights included a number of Lobster Moths (moving north, almost certainly in response to climate change) and in particular the female as they are rarely recorded at light (a first for Dave in 25 years of moth recording!). All the records are being sent to the County Moth Recorder.  Follow this link to view the species list for each site.

Horses for Courses – learning new skills

horse logging c Ben Osborne

photograph courtesy of Ben Osborne

Our variety of Skills in the Hills courses continue this summer with our recent Scything Course and Gardening for Wildlife.  Coming up is ‘An Introduction to Horse Logging‘ on 15 August.  This is a one day hands-on course with Powis Forest Horses covering all aspects of working with horses in woods.  The course is fully booked but if you’re considering working with a horse in this way and are interested in similar courses please contact Jon Bielstein on 01938 561741 or email jon.bielstein@shropshire.gov.uk.

We have more events lined up for the summer, so take a look at our event listings for more details about the following:

  • Fri 31 Jul All about Moths, Roman Gravels. The 5th of 6 sessions to discover the world of moths with expert Dave Green. From 8.30pm, £5 for first session you attend.
  • Sun 2 Aug Explore the wet flushes and bogs of Gatten Marsh (wellies advisable). Meet at 10am, Knolls car park on the Stiperstones (grid ref: SO 370 976).
  • Fri 7 Aug All about Moths, The Bog Mine. The final session to discover the world of moths with expert Dave Green. From 8.30pm, £5 for first session you attend.
  • Sun 9 Aug The Stiperstones Stomp, 10am – 3pm. An 8 mile hike along the Stiperstones ridge with local experts. Contact Natural England for more information and to book. £3 per person, please contact 01743 792294.
  • Wed 12 Aug Archaeological fieldwork at Stapeley Common to continue our investigations. All welcome, 10.30am – 3pm.
  • Sat 15 Aug Introduction to Horse Logging. A one-day Hands On course with Powys Forest Horses. Cost £65. FULLY BOOKED – but contact us if you are interested as we plan to run the course again!
  • Tue 18 Aug Churchyard task day at St Nicholas, Churchstoke. Meet at 10.30am, led by Caring for God’s Acre.
  • Tue 25 Aug Your Family and Other Animals – a talk by renowned local Wildlife Gardening Expert Jenny Steel. Pulverbatch Village Hall, 6pm.
  • Thu 27 Aug Your Family and Other Animals – taking practical steps.  Join us for a walk around Pulverbatch with Jenny Steel. Craft activities for children with Andy Cutts from Walkabout Ecology.
  • Fri 28 Aug Archaeological fieldwork at Stapeley Common to continue our investigations. Everyone welcome, 10.30am – 3pm.
  • Tue 1 & Thu 3 Sep Getting to know you – Wildlife What Have We Got – Two events to find Wildlife and Habitats in Pulverbatch Village and start to make plans to help it survive and thrive!
  • Sat 5 Sep Medieval Fayer and conservation task day at The Knapp, Castle Pulverbatch.
  • Sun 13 Sep Heritage weekend at Snailbeach Mine – guided walk, underground tours and Blakemoorgate Cottages open.
  • Sat 3 Oct New reveals on Roundton Hill – guided walks to find out about the new archaeological discoveries made on Roundton Hill as a result of fieldwork investigations.

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