News from the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership

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Dear Subscriber

An invitation to our Summer Forum & Field Visits, 2nd June, Snailbeach...

poster with details about the Shropshire Hills Summer Forum on 2nd June 2023

New Routes for the Long Mynd & Stiperstones Shuttle

2023 Shuttle route map

The Long Mynd and Stiperstones Shuttle Bus returns this summer with a new route, new timetable and new fare chart.  This is in response to local demand, and to provide a new attraction for the area, that links more of our delightful villages. 

We are trialling a new ‘Round the Mynd’ circuit, which include stops at Plowden, Myndtown and Wentnor, opening up exciting new walking possibilities for passengers. We have also made the decision to trial a different ticketing system - the bus will run with a greatly reduced and simplified ticket pricing scheme, but will no longer be free to concessionary bus pass holders.

We hope the new service will be welcomed by regular users of the old service, attract new users, and provide new ways to enjoy this outstanding landscape. We have set ourselves the target of 40 passengers a day to make the service sustainable for the longer term.

Please help us achieve this by using the bus, and telling your friends, family and visitors about it. Let us know what you think of the new service too by commenting on our Facebook site (ShrophillsAONB) or contacting us through the website.

We’d like to thank all users who have given us their views on the bus and have helped us keep the service running. Thanks also to Church Stretton Town Council, The National Trust, Natural England and Shropshire Council for providing the grants to subsidise the service. We hope you enjoy it, see you on the bus!

Young Rangers head to International Junior Ranger Camp this summer

Two of our Young Rangers have been selected to join the Europarc's 19th International Junior Ranger Camp.  They will be traveling to Denmark in July and are being hosted by the Frederikshavn Kommune which manage several conservation areas in the north of the country.

The camp is a week long and a fantastic opportunity to meet Young Rangers from all over Europe who share a passion for nature and are involved in their own local Protected Area/Landscape. Camp activities are built around exchanging experiences on nature conservation, environmental issues and cultural heritage, and include the chance to explore the area, learn new skills and do some practical conservation work. 

Back on home ground, our Young Rangers have a packed half term coming up with two green woodworking sessions, making hay rakes and shrink pots, and surveying Pied Flycatchers on Resting Hill.  To find out more about the Young Ranger project and the Pied Flycatchers on Resting Hill, come along to our Summer Forum on Friday 2nd June.

Young Rangers foraging event

£1.3 million committed to farming projects in the Shropshire Hills

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has reopened to farmers and land managers in the Shropshire Hills.  The funding programme is part of the government's Agricultural Transition Plan which is shifting from direct payments to farmers, to rewarding environmentally-friendly practices.

The programme operates in all of England's protected landscapes (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks), and funds projects which are led by farmers and landowners to help:  

  • support nature recovery,  
  • tackle climate change,  
  • provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage,  
  • support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.   

To date, we have funded 69 projects totalling over £1.3 million. The projects are listed on our Farming in Protected Landscapes webpage.

Programme extension - Farming in Protected Landscapes has been extended, and will now end in March 2025.  To help potential new applicants to think about projects on their land, we are holding a series of farm visits this summer to showcase the range of activities that are happening on farms across the AONB.  Please contact us if you would like to join our farmer mailing list to keep up to date with events relating to the programme.

For more information about the programme and application process, please visit our website, or contact Farming in Protected Landscapes Adviser, Alison Jones, email

new fencing, hedge planting and tree planting on a farm

Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership maps out a greener future with Climate Action Plan

We recently published a Statement of Commitment and a Climate Action Plan to guide the AONB Partnership's work in terms of tackling climate change and its impacts.

The Action Plan addresses the higher-than-average carbon emissions in the Shropshire Hills, which are influenced by the rural nature of the area and high levels of consumption. Collaborative work with other AONB teams has helped to develop actions in five key areas: nature-based solutions, agriculture, sustainable tourism and transport, renewable energy, and building design and planning. 

On nature-based solutions, we focus on safeguarding existing habitats and developing habitat networks through projects like Stepping Stones, and we are piloting studies of carbon storage and sequestration in land, as well as developing work to restore degraded peatlands. 

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming, the Partnership supports regenerative and agroecological farming systems. We work with farmer clusters, and run the Farming in Protected Landscapes grant programme in which climate is a key priority. 

Efforts in sustainable tourism and transport involve promoting active travel through walking and cycling, and operating the Shropshire Hills Shuttles bus service. The Partnership leads a sustainable tourism strategy and helps to support tourism businesses in adopting sustainable practices. 

Looking ahead, we plan to collaborate further, integrate climate themes into engagement activities, and explore funding opportunities to support individuals, businesses, and community groups to take climate action and create a sustainable and resilient future for the area. 

Shropshire Hills Climate Action Plan

The AONB Trust awards £15,000 in small grants to 13 local projects

volunteers clearing site for meadow

The Shropshire Hills Conservation Fund is a small grant-pot which has up to £15,000 to distribute each year to projects that deliver practical conservation work and/or educational and awareness-raising activities relating to the Shropshire Hills and its conservation, especially involving young people. 

In March, 13 local projects were awarded grants ranging from £500 to £2,000.

The projects include restoring grassland habitat for the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, installing nesting boxes for swifts on church towers and recording dormouse activity around Abdon to target future habitat management work. Both dormice and the small pearl-bordered fritillary are on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority List, meaning they have been identified as being the most threatened and require conservation action. Swifts were recently added the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Other projects include restoring a wildlife pond in the school grounds at St George's, Clun, buying better equipment to enable volunteers to monitor local river water quality, and enabling volunteers to create a wildflower meadow in their 2-acre community gardening space near Church Stretton.

A lot of volunteer time and effort goes into delivering these projects.  Many of the projects are community-led and they play an important role in helping to look after the Shropshire Hills landscape, providing opportunities for more people to get involved, and connect with and care for the nature on their doorstep.

Funding for the Conservation Fund comes from Friends of Shropshire Hills (their subscription goes directly into the Fund), the Millichope Foundation, Moonshine and Fuggles, and individual contributions who support the Fund with their generous donations.

2023 project summaries

Funding for the Conservation Fund comes from Friends of Shropshire Hills (their subscription goes directly into the Fund), the Millichope Foundation, Moonshine and Fuggles, and individual contributions.

Thank you to all who support the Fund with their generous donations.

Friends of the Shropshire Hills logo

Business Supporters Scheme

Shropshire Hills Business Supporter Scheme

We work closely with the Shropshire Hills AONB Trust conserve and enhance the Shropshire Hills. Money raised by the Trust is distributed to projects in the community, mostly through the Conservation Fund, but the Trust also has public appeals for specific projects. 

The Trust's Business Supporters Scheme is an easy way for businesses and organisations to help our special Hills.  If you’re a business, why not join in order to:

  • Make a real difference to our special Hills 
  • Help worthwhile community projects across the Area 
  • Take advantage of wide interest and publicity 
  • Identify yourselves strongly with conserving Shropshire
  • conserving the Shropshire Hills

Business Supporters Scheme

Hope you can join us in July at this year's Hay Meadow Festival...

Shropshire Hills Hay Meadow Festival poster