Shropshire Council sent this bulletin at 16-12-2015 01:38 PM GMT
Government funding for AONBs protected
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 25 November specifically highlighted that Defra funding for AONBs and National Parks would be protected for the next four year Comprehensive Spending Review period (click here to read). This very welcome news recognises both the importance of our finest landscapes for prosperity and wellbeing, and the valuable and cost-effective work we do to support that. It is vital however that this commitment is matched by continued support from our local authorities to provide the necessary match funding. Shropshire Council is currently consulting on how to make savings through The Big Conversation. If you are able to take part in this survey to support protection of our Council funding and rate highly as a Council priority the area of “Environment - waste collection and recycling services and maintaining and protecting Shropshire’s green spaces and countryside”, we would be really grateful!
New AONB Partnership Chair and members
At the Partnership’s November meeting, James Williamson was appointed as our new Chair. James has previously worked at a senior level in commercial and not-for-profit organisations and now runs a smallholding in the upper Clun valley. He is also on the Boards of Shropshire Housing Group and of ‘Grow Cook Learn’ (the social enterprise which now runs the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre). We are very grateful to George Chancellor who steps down as Chair after six years, and will remain closely involved as a Vice Chair. Cllr Cecilia Motley takes over from Cllr Tim Barker as our other Vice Chair, and we welcomed ten new members to the Partnership.
University students visit the Clun Forest
We recently linked up with the new University Centre Shrewsbury and took Human Geography students on a visit to the Clun Forest. This field trip formed part of their course Border Regions: landscape, place and identity. With visits to Brynmawr, Mason's Bank and Lower Short Ditch Turbury, we discussed the issues around living and working on the border, local identity and the availability of cross border services. We also talked about our River Clun Recovery Project, the physical boundaries of the landscape and land management implications. The students felt the field trip was extremely valuable and we will be planning more visits in the future.
Traineeship in conservation and land management
A one year, local work-based traineeship, is being advertised through our Landscape Partnership Scheme. It's an excellent opportunity to gain the skills needed to pursue a career in nature conservation and / or land management. A bursary of £9,000 plus a budget for external training is available. To broaden the learning experience, the trainee’s time will be divided between Natural England, based at the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve, Access & Habitat Management, and the National Trust, based at Carding Mill Valley. The traineeship is open to everyone, from school leavers to those wanting a change in career. Applications must be in by 4 January and interviews take place on 21 January. For more information visit www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk or contact Scheme Manager, Joy Howells, 01938 561741, email email@example.com.
Shuttle Buses reduce car journeys, emissions and conjestion
The Long Mynd & Stiperstones Shuttle Bus had an excellent year. It carried 4,385 passengers between May and September. This represents over 2000 fewer car journeys, reducing emissions and congestion in one of the most popular parts of the AONB. The Castle Connect, that ran between Ludlow, Knighton, Clun and Bishop’s Castle was set up three years ago as part of Shropshire’s Sustainable Transport Project. Unfortunately, now that funding has ceased, the cost of running this service for another year was in danger of putting the future of the Long Mynd Shuttle at risk. At a recent meeting of the steering group, it was reluctantly agreed that we should focus our remaining funds on improving the Long Mynd & Stiperstones Shuttle Bus rather than continue to run both services. We are currently working to safeguard the much-loved Long Mynd & Stiperstones Shuttle for the next two years.
Pinpointing gully pots in the Clun Catchment
With funding from WREN we have been mapping highway gully pots and outfalls in the Clun Catchment, focusing on two areas, the lower Clun and Kemp Valley. Under our roads are many kilometres of drainage networks which efficiently feed excess water and pollutants such as salt, sediments and nutrients into our rivers. By mapping the gully points and outfalls we will have a better understanding of what is entering our rivers and where. With an estimated 2,000 + gully pots in the Clun Catchment, this is a huge task. So, if you live locally and know of any highway drainage outfalls to ditches, streams or rivers or want to help with mapping gully pots please get in touch with our Natural Environment Officer, Mike Kelly, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wrap up warm this winter and take to the hills. Our new web-page Some Shropshire Hillshighlights over 40 'hills' in the AONB we think are interesting and satisfying to go up. From fantastic viewpoints to ancient hillforts, geological features and wildlife refuges, you will find all these and more among the list.
Free advice and grants to improve the Clun Catchment
Practical work continues in the Clun Catchment with the River Clun Recovery Project to improve water quality and habitat for freshwater wildlife. Coppicing, fencing to exclude livestock, creating an alternative water supply and planting native trees all help to reduce silts and sediments reaching the river. Project Officer, Alison Jones, is able to offer free advice to land owners in the Clun Catchment about resource protection and provide grants of up to 100% to improve conditions on the ground. For more information please contact Alison on 07990 086014, or email email@example.com.
Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Partnerships
manage our Rights of Way network, parks, countryside sites and other green
spaces. Whether you do or don’t
regularly walk along footpaths, play in the parks or visit countryside sites please take a
few minutes to fill in the online survey.
The information gathered will help to prioritise work as cuts in budgets continue.
Here’s 4 good reasons to renew your membership of the Business Network.
•Save energy and reduce waste to save money and help reduce climate change
•Do your bit for wildlife and help to conserve our special landscape
•Get to know other network members to create stronger, more sustainable supply chains
•Come to one of our spring networking events – you don’t have to be a member to come along for your first meeting.
Wednesday 13th January 10.30 – 12.00 Upper Norton, Craven Arms. Join us for coffee and come on a behind the scenes tour. Francesca will show us around one of HPB’s most lovely holdings. www.hpb-nortonhouse.co.uk
Thursday 18th February 10.30 – 12.00 The Plough Inn, Wistanstow. Woods Brewery are a long time member of the Business Network – come an join us for a tour of the brewery with Ed Wood. www.woodbrewery.co.uk
Thursday 17th March 10.30 – 12.30 Acton Scott Historic Working Farm. The Big Swap Shop 2016. Following the success of last year’s event, this year’s will be even bigger and better. More businesses = more business… lots of leaflets to swap and pick up! More details to follow. www.shropshire.gov.uk/acton-scott
Tuesday 12th April 10.30 – 12.00 networking event. Details and location to be confirmed.
Thursday 12th May 10.30 – 13.00 National Trust Tea Rooms Carding Mill Valley. Join us to find out what the National Trust is doing to combat climate change and its effects on the wildlife of the Long Mynd. Carding Mill Valley. Coffee and talk followed by a guided walk (weather permitting).
To find out more about the Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Network click here. Struggling with your pledge? Get in touch to book a pledge polishing session. Wishing all our business members a great green Christmas and a profitable and happy New Year.
You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ShropHillsAONB
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