The Stiperstones and Corndon Hill Country Landscape Partnership Scheme received initial approval in July 2011 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a 12-month Development Phase completed in December 2012. Project Coordinators, Joy Howells and Helen Fairweather (job share) were appointed to develop the Partnership, consult widely with local people, groups and organisations and prepare a five-year programme of activity. A detailed Delivery Plan was submitted in December 2012 and the Scheme started in Spring 2013.
The Scheme area brings together the Stiperstones ridge and the hills of Corndon, Lan Fawr, Todleth,Roundton and Stapeley Common along with Pontesbury and Minsterley – view map. This area has a wealth of interesting natural and historic features, which make the landscape distinct. There is evidence of thousands of years of human history, from Bronze and Iron Age archaeology to 19th Century mining. There are pockets of rare grassland, river valleys and woodland harbouring a wide array of interesting wildlife including curlew, dormouse and the northern-most locality for the spreading bellflower, along with many myths and legends, and much cultural significance attached to the landscape.
The scheme area spans part of the Welsh – English border, including land in both countries that share landscape character but not administrative boundaries, and the position on the border adds both depth and complexity to the heritage of the area. From the Bronze Age to recent times this area, with its mining opportunities, strategic position and stunning landscape has brought newcomers from a range of backgrounds. The mix of people has resulted in distinct border communities, more diverse than the historically stable farming communities further east and a little more wild!
Today the area is tranquil and beautiful, belying the harsh realities of life in the mines or centuries of living on a frontier. The rich heritage of the area has inspired writers, including Mary Webb and Malcolm Saville, and there are many myths and legends based on some of the more interesting historic characters such as Wild Edric and Mad Jack Mytton.
The main threats to the area’s distinctiveness can be summarised as:
- Loss or damage to biodiversity and historic assets through inappropriate management
- Weakening the area’s tranquillity, biodiversity and deep sense of history
The Scheme’s programmes and projects are designed to tackle these threats.