Voice for Nature

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young rangers nest box survey

'Youth Voice for Nature' launched as part of our Young Ranger programme

The winter/spring lockdown caused a delay in our new National Lottery Heritage Fund project, Young Rangers.  We were able to deliver a programme (albeit scaled-back) of permitted, Covid-safe activities in the lead up to Spring.  Included in this were activities for vulnerable young people and young people from ethnic minorities in the Craven Arms catchment. This was led by our project partner, South Shropshire Youth Forum. 

Hot on their heels, a new fledgling group was set up in the Pontesbury/Stiperstones area. Beginning with ‘taster’ woodland craft sessions at Poles Coppice in Pontesbury.  The group have since taken an interest in monitoring a local population of pied flycatchers in an area of woodland overlooking Snailbeach. The location is a well-kept secret!                     

Young Rangers is aimed at 12-16 year olds who live in, or near to the Shropshire Hills AONB, but there is another strand to the project, the newly launched ‘Youth Voice for Nature’ which seeks to engage those aged between 17-21. As the title suggests, the aim is to set up a youth forum on environmental issues and in so doing, promote greater collaboration, representation and involvement of young people in the AONB’s governance. It will be interesting to hear what young people have to say and how this is manifested into local action, be it an environmental campaign or a local project to address our climate and ecological emergency.

For more information please visit our Young Rangers and Youth Voice for Nature webpages or contact the Young Rangers Project Officer, Joe Penfold at joe.penfold@shropshire.gov.uk   

‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ grant programme

Farming in the Shropshire Hills, by Phil King

photograph by Phil King

We will shortly be launching this 3-year funding programme offering grants to farmers and landowners to undertake work to benefit nature, climate, people and places within the AONB.  This is a Defra programme which will operate in all the AONBs and National Parks in England.  Further details will be publicised, but if you would like to join a list to be sent these directly when available, please email shropshirehillsaonb@shropshire.gov.uk.

As well as inviting interest in the grants, we are seeking expressions of interest from people with relevant knowledge and skills to join the grant approvals panel for the programme.  We especially welcome people from the farming community.  At present we expect the panel to meet roughly every 6-8 weeks from June to December.  Some expenses will be payable and there will be an application process for panel membership. Click here for more information.  If you are interested in joining the panel, please email joy.howells@shropshire.gov.uk.

Nature Recovery Plan for the Shropshire Hills AONB

Comments are welcomed on the draft Nature Recovery Plan for the Shropshire Hills AONB.

This Plan is aimed at anyone with an interest in nature and land in the Shropshire Hills. It is part of an ongoing dialogue about how we restore biodiversity and ecological functions to long term health, alongside addressing the challenges of climate change. Other organisations are also working on this in Shropshire, and we will continue to work with them on developing and refining the approach.

Please email your comments to us by the end of June 2021. Email shropshirehillsaonb@shropshire.gov.uk