4.3 Down to Earth

This project is about involving local communities in caring for and learning about their local landscape, and to conserve and enhance heritage significant to them.

Down to Earth supports local communities who want to take action to conserve and celebrate their heritage.  It starts with local events like tours, walks and talks to encourage people to get involved and share what they love about their local landscape.  People can follow and explore existing interests, discover new ones and contribute to community life and historic features.

13 projects have been developed between 2014 – 2017.  Below is a summary of each project.

The restoration of the horsewell and designation of the village green at Hyssington.  A wall-hanging was also created by members of the community and takes pride of place in the Village Hall. Hyssington Friends of the Village Green & Horsewell, grant £3,794.

Hyssington Local Records Centre.  Following the initial community project in Hyssington, a further grant was awarded to enable the Local History Group to research and retell village stories in two publications.  Grant £3,100.

Outdoor classroom and Forest School area at Minsterley Holy Trinity Church.  Alongside the development of Forest School outdoor classroom, plant surveys and management plan for the churchyard are now in place, supported by Caring for God’s Acre. Grant £3,221.

Weaving the View.  A small project to capture the Stiperstones & Corndon area in tapestry.  Participants learnt how to tapestry weave and created pieces inspired by the local landscape. These were exhibited at Bog Visitor Centre through August 2016. Supported tutor by Irene Evison, materials sponsored by Weavers Bazarre. Grant £250.

Tree surgery and access improvements at St. Nicholas’ Church, Churchstoke.  To tidy up the churchyard and make access easier.  The planning application was approved and a local contractor completed the work.  Grant £3,794.

Stiperstones/Snailbeach ‘Beach Party’, 2015 and 2017.  The grant has supported this bi-annual community celebration event, which included a heritage themed scarecrow competition!  Grant £3,815.

The Beach Party – Mary Webb Remembrance.  Additional funding helped the Beach Party to deliver activities in celebration of the local author Mary Webb.  Her novel, Gone to Earth, was written about and later filmed in the area in the 1950s. Grant £990.

Vanishing Buildings.  A series of walks and workshops helped participants to research and create interpretation of lost buildings around Churchstoke area.  An exhibition was held at the Bishop’s Castle Town Hall Gallery in Jan/Feb 2017, and a publication is being produced illustrating the project.  Grant £6,032.

Site management at Pontesford Hill.  Following the community purchase of this important local site, this grant has enabled tools/equipment to be purchased for ongoing management of the Hill.  Friends of Pontesford Hill, grant £3,794.

Community Juicing Initiative.  A full set of equipment has been purchased to support community juicing events. Shropshire Smallholders Group, grant £3,355

Community engagement and maintenance of the Knapp at Castle Pulverbatch.  The project has supported development of the ‘Friends’ group to care for this Scheduled Ancient Monument.  The grant has funded an annual community ‘get-together’ event, new interpretation and equipment to help with ongoing site management.  A circular walk has been developed linking the site with Cothercott.   Friends of Castle Pulverbatch, grant £3,944.

Remembering Hope.  This local history and reminiscence project is supported by Bishop’s Castle Heritage Resource Centre.  Volunteers have received training in the use of digitisation equipment and recording/ permission forms and processes. Items digitised include 19th century deeds and other documents from one property in Hope. Grant £3,300.

Resting Hill Nest Box Scheme at Snailbeach.  Grant to support this Community Wildlife Group project with coordination, materials and volunteer support.  Grant £2,112.

For more information and to get involved please contact Joe Penfold.