Welcome to the National Trust on Wenlock Edge

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

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Wenlock Edge Woodland, Past, Present and Future

On Sunday, we had a lovely day with the Church Stretton Tree Group; we gave them a tour of Wenlock Edge and talked about the history of our trees and past management of the woodland. We also discussed our current management of the area, including our forestry operations and how we conserve the woodland for wildlife and visitors using measures such as providing dead wood habitats, coppicing, and creating rides and viewpoints. We also considered what the future holds for Wenlock Edge, including our 50 year vision and how we will react to concerns over diseases and other future threats.
Overall, a very positive day and we hope that everyone on the walk learnt something new about the Wenlock Edge woodland.

The Church Stretton Tree Group in front of the Granham's Mount viewpoint

Monday, 11 April 2016

Shelter Building Event

Last Friday was our shelter building event at Wenlock Edge; considering the forecast suggested it was going to be a miserable day, we were delighted that we had a downpour-free day. There were three activities for children to get involved in during the day - shelter building, making a flag and making a hat!

The aim of the day was for the children to get hands-on with nature and get involved in making some spectacular dens - indeed, some of them looked like the children wanted to move in for good!
The flag and hat making went down a treat; the children explored the woods for twigs, leaves and flowers and then decorated their flags and hats with what they found, including plenty wild garlic!
There was an array of different sizes and styles of dens. Some in a teepee/wigwam style, others like a more traditional tent. Some found brash and leaves to cover their shelter as a roof; the rangers were on hand for assistance with lopping sticks and cutting with a bow saw. Many of the families made use of their den by eating their lunch in it, which was lovely to see!
Overall it was a great day and we’re looking forward to the next shelter building event, which will be run on the 28th July.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Wild Woods Adventure Trail

Yesterday was our Wild Woods Adventure Trail and we had a fabulous turn-out with some pretty good weather to go with it. Children of all ages were taking part and getting involved in looking for our clues on the map and answering questions about Wenlock Edge. Everyone did very well as there were some tricky ones in there! Even the adults got stuck in and there was definitely some healthy family competition! I hope that everyone had a great time and learned something new about Wenlock Edge and about why it is so special. The rangers and volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the day too and we witnessed the making of some brilliant stick men!

We plan to run the event again in the summer months, so once a date has been chosen we will let you all know!

Here are some pictures from the day.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Plotting viewpoints, archaeology monitoring and clearing Pudding Bag meadow

Recently, with help from volunteer Charlotte Huntley, we have been plotting the viewpoints along the Edge. We plotted the viewpoints on the map and using the GPS and took pictures with a camera. This was a pleasant task as both days were lovely weather, where we walked and got to enjoy the views. We will hopefully be out again to plot further viewpoints soon.
We have been carrying out further archaeology monitoring along the Edge, this time around Presthope and Wilderhope. This involves finding archaeological features on the map such as lime kilns and charcoal heaths, ensuring that they have been marked in the correct place, rating their condition, and then assessing the priority of any action necessary for them. Both days were extremely successful and more will be carried out next Winter.

Map reading
In search of a charcoal hearth

We have also been working at Wilderhope in the Pudding Bag meadow. We were clearing back the rough vegetation before the wild flowers start to spring up. Half of the meadow had been cleared with the mower last year but this section had to be done using the brushcutter, loppers and rakes, as within this section there are a large amount of Yellow Meadow ant hills which would have been destroyed by the mower. The Yellow Meadow ant is a species which prefers undisturbed ground and lives primarily underground in meadows and is good for the grass in many ways. Alistair was also felling some trees surrounding the meadow to let more light into the meadow and to stop shading out.

Using the brushcutter and rakes to clear the vegetation
Alistair's impressive tree felling

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from us all at Wenlock Edge!


There has also been sightings of the emergence of bluebells.


Wood anemones

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Litter Picking and Bramble Clearance

Over the past couple of weeks on Wenlock Edge we have had three major litter pick days. One down Harley Bank road with myself and Kate, and two more big days with the volunteers, the first along Hughley Bank and the second above Hughley Bank along the top of the Church Stretton road. We do it at this time of year when the ground is usually dry and before the Spring growth shoots up and hides the litter, making it harder to find. We split up along the roads (in our hi-vis jackets) and took our litter pickers as well as two bags; one for rubbish and one for recyclable plastics (as this makes it quicker and easier for us to sort out at the recycling centre when we get back). On every day the back of the landrover was jam-packed with bags of rubbish and plastic recyclables.

After a days litter pick
We also have our drop-in volunteer rangers who usually come in to help out when they can; litter picking is one of the tasks they are given, which means that we can keep in control of the litter a bit better as it is done more regularly. The areas focused on are the car parks and also the paths along our trails.

I hope maybe you have seen a bit of a difference along these stretches of road.

A couple of Tuesdays ago we were working at Harley Bank Hill with the volunteers for our second instalment clearing a wall of bramble away from the newly laid hedge, which has unfortunately died back and will need some re-planting. Working as a team of four, we managed to clear away the bramble before lunch, mostly using scythes, but with some extra help from the brush cutter and a chainsaw (and some brute force too!)

 After lunch we burned it all on the fire. Hopefully it will be a while before it shoots up again!

Laser Tag with Shropshire Youth Forum, Tree Planting and Coppicing

A few weeks ago we had an excellent day with the Shropshire Youth Forum, we began by clearing brash and burning it on an 'upside down fire' which the children found a lot of fun to build. In the afternoon a day of Laser Tag in Easthope wood had been organised which was fantastic fun (the adults even managed to get stuck in as well).

Brash clearance with the Shropshire Youth Forum

The upside down fire!

We also recently had a day of coppicing with volunteer Abbi and also planted two new lime trees on the Edge down by the railway near Longville.

Abbi starting her first and very successful fire!

Digging a big hole

Me and my lime tree