Welcome to the National Trust on Wenlock Edge

A wooded limestone ridge of high bio-diversity, interspersed with species rich grassland

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Full Time Volunteer

Hi, I’m Katy, the new placement student at Wenlock Edge. I am from North Yorkshire, which has the beautiful countryside of the Dales and the Moors, but am now enjoying life in Shropshire (apparently God’s own country too!) I am currently in my 3rd year at Harper Adams University studying Countryside Management, and before starting university I spent a year out Woofing (working on organic farms) across the country. I enjoy learning about landscape development and history. My interests include playing tennis and hockey, walking, and I also enjoy travelling.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Make hay while the sun shines!

The sun is shining so we are making hay! The grass has been cut in Ippikin's meadow so now we are turning it and hoping that the weather stays nice enough for it to dry. Removing the grass will reduce the nutrient level in the limestone soil which will encourage more rare plants, like orchids.

Cutting the grass with a tractor mounted mower

Using the haybob to turn the grass to help it dry

Archaeology training day

This month we had an archaeology volunteer training day at Wenlock Edge. It went really well with volunteers learning what to look for and how to survey and record archaeological features, such as lime kilns, platforms and boundary banks among others. 

The session was led by expert Dr Ian Dormor who also talked about the history of the landscape, the limestone industry and how this relates to the woodland management of Wenlock Edge.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Roadside work

Last Thursday and Friday we were carrying out roadside work with the contractors, which consisted of felling dangerous trees which were overhanging the road, cutting them up and putting them through the wood chipper. The trees were quite near a busy road so we had to have a traffic management system in place to control the traffic.

Jay the contractor

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Late Summer work

This week our brilliant volunteer Pete came and helped us to prepare and deliver some firewood loads to local customers in Much Wenlock. This involved carrying ropes and chains up the steep slope, tying them onto lengths of timber and then using the tractor mounted winch to drag the lengths down the slope out of the woods. 

After we have got the timber onto the track we cross-cut it using chainsaws, stack it by hand on the track side ready to take another day or load it straight onto the trailer and deliver it to our customers. It is pretty intensive work but it is great because you can see what you have achieved, it it brilliant exercise, you often get a beautiful view and sometimes if we are lucky we get a cup of tea and piece of cake from our customers! 
Alistair cross-cutting

Also at the beginning of the week, while walking up Blakeway hollow to check on our flock of sheep, I spotted this beautiful male speckled wood butterfly and after patiently following him fluttering around, for what seemed like forever, he decided to land and I got a quick photograph on my mobile. This year, despite slightly temperamental weather, I have also seen little skippers, gatekeepers, green-veined whites, meadow browns and many more butterflies. The Much Wenlock car park is a great place to spot them, sitting on thistles and black knapweed flowers. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Severe winds!

Last week some severe winds hit Wenlock Edge and a number of large Oak branches fell and blocked a bridleway at Roman bank. It took me and Alastair two days to break down the branches and clear the debris away from the path. If you find more trees or branches down which are blocking paths on Wenlock Edge please let us know by calling 07972 115725 or emailing kate.price@nationaltrust.org.uk 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Interesting flora

The orchids may be gone but there are still beautiful flowers in our meadows. If you look closely you will see Eyebright doing brilliantly and we have two stunning viper’s bugloss plants growing in Ballstone quarry (which bees and hoverflies love). The woods are also filled with lots of delicate enchanter’s nightshade and beautiful bramble flowers. 

Viper's bugloss 


 Enchanter’s nightshade