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Newsletter, thank you for your support

Wednesday March 7th, 2018 | Stephanie

Photograph by Philip King

Thank you for your support

Community involvement has been vital to the success of the Scheme. Many people have been involved in the Scheme in many ways. We wish to thank you all for sharing your knowledge, giving your time and getting involved over the last five years.

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Data protection and keeping in touch

We are in the midst of wrapping up, finishing off and clearing out the office! As the Scheme comes to a close, our projects are evolving through other groups and organisations. For data protection reasons, we can not move your details into these other groups.  Instead, we will shortly send out a seperate email asking you to re sign-up to those groups of interest to you.  Look out for this email and make sure you sign up to keep in touch with what’s going on locally.

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Congratulations

Trainees, Abbi Knight, Amber Bicheno and Sarah Fortune have successfully completed their one-year work-based placements and achieved their City & Guilds Level 2 Work Based Diploma in Environmental Conservation.  Training Officer, Jen Jones, has provided mentoring and steered them through the accreditation process.  All three have gained experience and certificates in a variety of important practical skills such as chainsaw use, tree-felling, tractor driving and use of pesticides.  We thank them for all their hard work and wish them the very best for the future.

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Lasting legacies of Down to Earth

13 community projects have been led by local communities to celebrate, care for and conserve local heritage.  They have ranged from research and reminiscence, tapestry weaving and creative writing, to practical conservation tasks and wildlife monitoring.

Recently published books capture some of this research and creativity.  Two volumes of ‘A glimpse into life of a village’ have been produced by Hyssington History Group, and another book, titled ‘Vanishing Buildings’, brings together beautiful artwork, photographs, poetry and history to celebrate these forgotten buildings.  A ‘Little Handbook of Hope’ has also been produced by the Hope & Bentlawnt History Group to highlight local stories and features.

All these books are available to buy from local outlets including the Bog Visitor Centre, and the Town Hall and Heritage Resource Centre in Bishop’s Castle.

Follow the link to read summeries of all the Down to Earth projects  http://www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk/down-to-earth/

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Shropshire Hills Hay Meadow Festival

Following our successful Hay Meadow Festival last year, we’ve set the date and are planning this year’s event.  It co-insides with National Meadows Day, Saturday 7th July, at the Bog, Pennerley.  You have a few months to get practicing for all our competitions… scything, hay rick building and hay bale tossing!  New for this year is a ‘talk tent’ to hear different people speak about what’s happening locally to conserve and enhance our wildflower meadow and wildlife.  If you’re interested in having a stall, or helping out on the day, please get in touch with Alison Kay, email alison.kay@shropshire.gov.uk, or call 01743 254740.

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Help on hand to better manage wildflower rich grassland

Set up at the start of the Scheme, the Marches Meadow Group has grown into a 40 strong membership of local smallholders who are interested in the management and conservation of wildflower rich hay meadows.  Recently, the group launched their own website to promote best practices for managing traditional hay meadows and grassland –http://www.marchesmeadowgroup.com/ .  Their next event is a talk by Tim Selman, CE of Wyre Community Land Trust, Sunday 22nd April, 10.30am at Norbury Village Hall, details at http://www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk/event/marches-meadow-group-annual-talk-tim-selman-ce-wyre-community-land-trust/

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Curlew Country
With the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust taking on the hosting arrangements for the Curlew Country Project, admin changes are happening behind the scenes.

As the nesting season approaches, Project Manager, Mandi Perkins, is asking people for details of local curlew sightings by filling in the online recording form at https://curlewcountry.org/birdform/, or telephone or text her on 07740 493359. There are also new volunteering opportunities so do get in touch if you want to join in with the curlew recovery work.

Curlew Country will progress the project again this year, protecting nests, rearing chicks carrying out new trials and doing all we can to ensure chicks fledge locally. To continue to receive information about the project, please email Mandi on her new email address curlewcountry@gwct.org.uk or contact her on her mobile 07740 493359.

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Community Wildlife Groups form independent committees

At the recent Camlad and Rea Valley Community Wildlife Groups AGMs, both groups  have formed their own independent committees and formally adopted constitutions.  This enables all the excellent wildlife monitoring and survey work to continue.  To get a flavour of the projects going forward, such as moths, nest box schemes, ground nesting birds and plants, read the recently published annual reports from last year by visiting the Shropshire CWG webpage, http://www.shropscwgs.org.uk/

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Special THANK YOU to the Tuesday Task Team

Braving all weather, our Task Team volunteers have bashed at scrub, coppiced trees, burnt brash, installed steps, leveled paths and traversed scree slopes all in the name of conservation. The access improvements and habitat restoration across the Scheme sites would not have been possible without the huge volunteer effort. Thank you to everyone involved and keep up the good work!

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Investigations continue in the hills
Archaeologist, Mike Greene, who had led much of our community archaeological field trips, is continuing this valuable work through the new Shropshire Hills & Marches Community Archaeology Group.  Using the LiDAR data, commissioned at the start of the Scheme, the group will continue to explore features of interest on the local hills and commons and along ancient routes.  The next meeting is being held on Thursday 15th March, 2.30pm at the Six Bells in Bishop’s Castle.  Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more – details at http://www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk/event/shropshire-hills-marches-community-archaeology-group-meeting-bishops-castle/

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Roundton Hill by Hugh Hannaford

Local archaeological information at your finger tips

We’re adding the final Scheme reports to this new website http://records.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk/ which makes available the historical and archaeological records from across the Stiperstones and Corndon Scheme area.  The website focuses on the heritage sites that the Scheme has been working on through the Open Hills and Helping Hillforts projects.  It showcases the many layers of history you will find in these landscapes – from Neolithic and Bronze Age burial mounds to the impressive ramparts of Iron Age hillforts, to scattered industrial remains associated with their much more recent past.

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