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Winter 2015 Newsletter

Friday December 18th, 2015 | Stephanie

Traineeship opportunity in conservation and land management

Hedgelaying, Chapel Lawn Sarah JamesonWe are offering a one year, local work-based traineeship, starting February 2016.  This is an excellent opportunity to gain the skills needed to get started in a career in nature conservation and / or land management.  A bursary of £9,000 plus a budget for external training is available and the trainee’s time will be divided between Natural England, Access & Habitat Management, and the National Trust to broaden their learning experience.  The traineeship is open to everyone, from school leavers to those wanting a change in career – ideally some voluntary experience but would not previously employed in the industry.

Applications must be in by 4 January and interviews take place on 21 January.  Follow this link for more information about the Traineeship and contact us on 01938 561741.

Training Officer post – this is a two year, part-time post to deliver the Scheme’s training opportunities.  We are looking for someone with a good knowledge of natural and cultural heritage, and experience of leading and managing environmental/ heritage focused education work and training development.  Please follow the link for more information about the Training Officer post.  Applications must be in by 4 January and interviews will take place on 18 January.


Curlew Curtain Call?Curlew in flight

The curlew population has diminished by 25% in 11 years in the Scheme area. This spring, with the help of local farmers and land managers, we monitored a scientific sample of 12 curlew nests to try and establish why the birds are failing to breed successfully.  Sadly, no chicks survived to fledge from these 12 nests.  If local curlews are to have a chance to survive urgent action needs to be taken at a local level.  We will be launching the CURLEW APPEAL in the New Year to highlight ways in which you can help.


‘Vanishing Buildings’ Project Gets Under Way

This is one of three Down to Earth projects around Churchstoke and Hyssington. In partnership with Bishop’s Castle Heritage Resource Centre, the project is investigating the history of some of the many abandoned or derelict sites Camlad View 5 from Mary NWaround Churchstoke, Hyssington, Priest Weston and White Grit.  Buildings that were lived in or were places of work just decades ago may be lost quickly once the roof goes!

We will also be delving into archive material in both Shropshire and Powys and perhaps bringing in speakers to add to our knowledge, possibly linking up Helping Hillforts or Open Hills. Our efforts should lead to an exhibition, publication, or similar.

A small group of volunteers has already met and made an initial and very useful visit to Shropshire Archives. If you’re interested in getting involved and helping with fieldwork, digging around in the Archives or recording the memories of neighbours and friends please contact Mary Napper-White, email mary_napper@phonecoop.coop or call 01588 620151.


Revealing ramparts and harvesting hedge stakes

THANK YOU to all the volunteers who have joined us this autumn on our Tuesday Task Days. We’ve clocked up over 400 volunteering hours. Scrub clearance and coppicing has helped to reveal the ramparts at Callow hillfort, habitat improvements have continued at the Rescuing Rocks wildlife sites, and volunteers have harvested willow for the basket making courses and hedge stakes for the hedge laying course. Alongside Friends of Castle Pulverbatch, volunteers have also helped to improve the motte and bailey castle.  Practical tasks continue through the winter.  Please follow this link to view the TTT 2016 Jan- Mar work prog and join us if you can. No experience necessary, training and tools provided! For more information and to book on please contact the office.



Prof Ian Trueman talkCelebrating meadows

Over 70 people joined us at Norbury Village Hall to hear Professor Ian Trueman share his wealth of knowledge on meadows.  Ian has played a leading role in botanical conservation across the west Midlands and Welsh borders.  His experience of meadow creation using green hay was of particular interest to the newly formed Marches Meadow Group. Flower rich grasslands are some of the most important habitats in the Scheme area.  We will be raising awareness and celebrating all things meadows next July with a Meadow Festival at the Bog.  Date to be confirmed in the New Year.


Community Wildlife Groups annual Round Up 

Resting Hill Nest Box Scheme

Resting Hill Nest Box Scheme

A series of evening events are planned to share the results of local 2015 wildlife surveys.  These evenings are a great opportunity to discover more about your local wildlife and find out how you can help with future surveys, monitoring and recording.  Separate Bird Group meetings are also planned and dates for these will be confirmed in January.

Tuesday 1 March Rea Valley Community Wildlife Group AGM at Minsterley Parish Hall

Wednesday 2 March Camlad Valley Community Wildlife Group AGM at Hyssington Village Hall


Barn Owls – let us know if you see one

The Rea Valley Community Wildlife Group is working with the Shropshire Barn Owl Group to record sightings of barn owls.  Special nest boxes are available to farmers and land owners with suitable habitat to help increase the local population.  Barn owls are on the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern.  Placing nest boxes near existing barn owl territory and foraging areas should help these beautiful birds to spread.  Follow this link for more information and details about who to contact with your sightings ‘Please Help Barn Owls‘.


click on the image to find out which 'hills' make up the AONB...

Latest news from the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership

Follow the link below to find out more about the work of the AONB Partnership, the lead organisation for the Scheme.  A series of monthly Sustainable Business Network events are planned from January, the Long Mynd & Stiperstones Shuttle Bus is secured for next year, and Government funding for AONBs is protected in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Shropshire Hills AONB News, Winter 2015


Shropshire’s paths, parks and play spaces

We want your views on Shropshire’s Great Outdoors.  Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Partnerships manage our Rights of Way network, parks, countryside sites and other green spaces. Whether you do or don’t regularly walk along footpaths, play in the parks or visit countryside sites please take a few minutes to fill in the online survey. The information gathered will help to prioritise work as cuts in budgets continue.  Follow this link to fill in the survey http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/outdoor-recreation-annual-public-survey/

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