Shropshire Council sent this bulletin at 03-11-2015 12:18 PM GMT
Autumn 2015 Newsletter
New office, new address
The AONB Partnership Team have moved offices within Craven Arms. We are now based at Drovers House. The phone lines will be connected soon, but in the meantime, you can contact the office on 07990 086013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow this link for individual team members' contact details which are listed on our website.
Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership Unit 9, Drovers House The Auction Yard Craven Arms Shropshire SY7 9BZ
Taking practical steps this autumn
Our River Clun Recovery Project has started practical ‘on the ground’ work this autumn. Clun Catchment Officer Alison Jones has made over 40 visits to farms where we hope to make positive improvements. Alison is able to offer free advice about resource protection and provide grants of up to 100% to improve conditions on the ground. Grants have been given for coppicing, tree planting, bank stabilisation, fencing, sediment traps, and the resurfacing of tracks and gateways. This activity conserves valuable soils and fertilisers, and helps to reduce silts and sediments reaching the river, thereby improving the water quality and habitat for freshwater wildlife. For more information please contact Alison on 07990 086014, or email email@example.com.
The national Bayer/FACE Award goes to...
Congratulations to Clun uplands farmers Trevor Wheeler and his son Paul who won the national Bayer/FACE award in recognition of their educational work at Brynmawr Farm. Over the years, our Community & Landscape Officer Cath Landles has worked closely with Trevor and Paul to help develop Brynmawr’s educational potential. Grants from theAONB Partnership’s Sustainable Development Fund helped with setting up classroom facilities, developing the Care Farm and installing renewable technology. This summer Friends of the Shropshire Hills AONB enjoyed a tour around Brynmawr and local school children have made it their base for their John Muir Award activities.
Supporting local projects
The Shropshire Hills AONB Conservation Fund is supporting 14 local projects this year. These include research into ground nesting birds, training Riverfly monitors, and developing sensory activities for people with physical and/or learning difficulties. Recently, grant recipients came together to find out more about the AONB and to share information, skills and knowledge with each other. The Conservation Fund runs annually from April to March and expressions of interest are invited for next year's round of funding. For more information contact Community Officer, Cath Landles, on 07990 085930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red carpet rolled out in Brineddin Wood
This autumn we're working with St Mary's Primary School, Bucknell, helping them to explore and learn about the AONB through the John Muir Award. Brineddin Wood is their chosen ‘wild place’ for outdoor activities. Brineddin is an ancient semi-natural oak wood divided into ‘quillets’ or strips. The quillet the children are exploring is a Community Woodland, owned by the Redlake Valley Community Benefit Society. The children are taking part in a range of woodland activities including hosting the Oscar’s for the hawthorn wildlife web awards. They are also involved in hands-on practical conservation work coppicing, clearing brash and collecting acorns to plant and grow.
Shropshire Hills Young Rangers
South Shropshire Youth Forum is a charity which supports young people, giving them a helping hand when they need it. Through our Shropshire Hills AONB Conservation Fund we have helped the charity to develop a Young Rangers programme in the AONB. Building camps, mountain biking and orienteering are just some of the activities enjoyed by young people in the Clee Hill area. The experiences help to build confidence, develop team relationships and teach new skills. The success of Clee Hill Young Rangers has led to second programme being set up in Church Stretton. South Shropshire Youth Forum is looking for people to get involved, please email Rich Morley email@example.com. Or come along to the AGM on Tuesday 3rd November, 7pm at Craven Arms Community Centre.
When Old Bill was a Lad
Did you know that the War memorial in St John the Baptist Church Yard Stokesay is known locally as Old Bill? You may also know that he originally stood on the corner of Corvedale Road and Shrewsbury Road in Craven Arms. He was moved in the 1950s when the road was widened.
Why Old Bill?In the First World War the cartoon character ‘Old Bill’ became as nationally recognisable as Popeye. His creator Bruce Bairnsfather also gained considerable fame as a result. If you study the memorial statue, you’ll quickly see it’s of a gruff old moustachioed campaigner, rather than a typical clean shaven young recruit. The statue’s resemblance to the Bairnsfather’ s cartoon inspired his name.
But that’s not the area’s only claim to a Bairnsfather connection. Although famous for his satirical wartime hero, Bairnsfather was a talented landscape painter who aspired to be recognised by the Royal Academy. He had a studio in Clun and liked to paint in the area.
On campaign. This autumn we decided that this connection was too good to ignore. Seasoned Campaigner, Friend of the Shropshire Hills, prolific writer and volunteer walks guide Keith Pybus led us on a walk from Craven Arms to Stokesay Castle in Bairnsfather’ s and Old Bill’s footsteps. We were especially fortunate to have Mark Warby from the Bruce Bairnsfather Society accompany us.
See an original Bairnsfather painting. The walk finished with the revelation that there has been an original Bairnsfather painting on public display in Craven Arms for almost a century! Not a landscape, but a version of ‘If you knows a better ‘ole, go to it’ painted on the wall in the bar of the Stokesay Inn.
The Shropshire Hills Shuttle Buses started this May with bumper numbers on board. Passenger numbers peaked again with nearly 2,000 journeys made in August. Overall, numbers have, once again, increased from last year and the service seems as popular as ever. With more than 60 responses to our passenger questionnaire, we have gleaned valuable information about why people use the Shuttles, pick up points, destinations and whether they are regular or first time passengers. The data will help us to make improvements to the service. Each of the respondents said they would recommend the Shuttles to friends and family, so we look forward to another bumper season next year! The 2016 Shuttle service will start on the first May Bank Holiday, Saturday 30 April 2016.
Sharing knowledge between generations
'Clun Forest – memories of the landscape' is a pilot project which is bringing older and younger people from the Clun Forest together to talk about changes in the landscape. The Shropshire branch of Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has organised a series of sessions at Newcastle Primary School. Through photographs, memorabilia and sharing stories the children will discover from older members of the community how the landscape has been shaped by the activities of former generations. These sessions will be recorded and edited into a short 3 – 5 minute film which will be used to promote the importance of looking after the Clun Forest area so that others may enjoy it in the future.
Why sustainability and business go hand in hand
Once a newsy buzz word, sustainability seems to have slipped from trendy vocab in recent years. Not in the Shropshire Hills where many have been doing rather than just talking. Members of the Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Network have been quietly working towards fulfilling their sustainability pledges for several years. They recognise the benefits to their businesses of reducing energy use, buying locally and protecting wildlife. They’ve not only saved money and supported the local economy, but help conserve the landscape that we all enjoy and admire.
This October saw the launch of the new membership network, a development of the original externally funded ‘scheme.’ The new network will bring new vitality, aiming to be even more connected, dynamic and useful to local businesses. Wednesday 21 October saw the first get together for members wanting to learn about what’s new and contribute to making things happen for sustainability in the Shropshire Hills.
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