Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sheep Count

On Wednesday our ecologist Andy Perry, accompanied by the Rangers and a group of volunteers carried out another sheep count across the property. This involves splitting into small groups, each with a designated route to walk, and marking on a map the number of sheep in each area. This is to help maintain a suitable level of grazing on the hill. Andy joined Dave the ranger in the Landrover and counted the sheep along the plateau. The weather was clear and sunny, which produced some lovely photo opportunities; some sheep even joined one of our Placement Rangers for lunch! (see picture below)

Monday, 18 April 2016

Education Training Day

An informative training day was held for Learning Staff and Volunteers by Angela Mann from Preston Montford FSC who gave many ploys to hook visitors into discovering what swims in our stream and prove just how clean it is.  Here pictured with how a tablet can be put to use in our labs she got everyone very focussed in(pun?!). Our afternoon was led by NT ecologist Andy Perry who got us all looking carefully at plantlife almost as small as our water creatures! It was just fascinating to be given such great detail to further everyone's interests in what lives here. A true learning day.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Planting has begun!

In accordance with the new kitchen garden plan, the seeds have been planted in the polytunnel. The objective of the plan is to supply the tearoom with as much fresh produce grown on site as possible. Some seeds which have been planted include kale, lettuce, spring onion, along with a small herb garden to provide herbs. If you've visited the tearoom terrace over the past few weeks you may have noticed a new structure beginning to appear in the garden in place of the old fruit cage! This is to replace the fruit cage and increase the productivity of the fruit trees through being more secure to keep birds out!

Digging over the beds.
 If you would like to get involved with any activities in the garden, please feel free to email us at:

A foal has been born!

A heavily pregnant pony was spotted in the valley a little while ago, and on the 9th March she gave  birth to a beautiful chestnut foal just down from the chalet pavilion.
Image courtesy of Sandra Whitlock

More Heather Burning!

The Rangers and some volunteers have been out heather burning again! Last week the weather dried up enough to make the heather dry enough for burning. This years target was to burn 20 hectares, and the deadline is end of March, when the burning season ends.

and a few fun ones...

Spot the ranger!

Fire beaters also double up as broomsticks!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Tree Planting

Last week the Rangers and volunteers were out tree planting in Batch Valley as part of the All Stretton Community Tree Planting Project.

Patrick and James

Emma and Dave

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Conservation Work

The National Trust relies on the support of people to help with management of the properties, one of these people at the Long Mynd is Ian Cheeseborough who has done a lot of work for the Trust to help improve the ecology of the property.
Clearing snipe plots at Wildmoor
 Ian works in carrying out practical habitat management on various sites and for a variety of organisations in the county including National Trust, Shropshire Council and Field Studies Council. Work includes footpath maintenance, hedge laying and planting, scrub control and tree work. He also teaches courses on bees, wasps and ants for the Field Studies Council looking at identification and ecology.
The work he has been involved in for the National Trust on the Long Mynd has included pond clearance on Wildmoor and the strimming of various sites to encourage breeding snipe (see previous post). He has also previously helped with hedge planting in Batch Valley and tree planting in the Wern.
Survey wise he has helped on grouse counts for a number of years and provided a baseline survey of the bees and wasps around the Mynd and recorded the breeding dragonflies on ponds around Pole Cottage.

Here at the Shropshire Hills we really appreciate the support of our volunteers, if you would like to get involved feel free to email us at

Monday, 8 February 2016

Strimming of Snipe Plots

This week, some contractors were up on the hill working for our ecologist by strimming rushes adjacent to Wildmoor Pool. Dave and a few of the FTVs (Full Time Volunteers) then removed the cut rushes from the habitat to improve the ecological benefit of clearing the plots. Strimming the area reduces the density of the rushes allowing the snipe to lead their young through the rushes.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Coppicing at Wenlock Edge

This week the TTF (Tuesday Task Force) were out coppicing at Wenlock Edge. Coppicing is a traditional practice of tree management and involves cutting trees at their base and the new growth consists of small thin poles which can be used for hedge laying and fencing. The coppice plot we were working on was previously coppiced between 10-15 years ago.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Stone spreading in Carding Mill Valley

This week we took a delivery of 35 tonnes of stone to use to help improve parking for cars along valley. The Wednesday Action Group (WAGs) helped to shovel and spread this stone along the valley, whilst spreading grass seed underneath; we have seen in other areas the grass is beginning to grow through the stone and should eventually provide a more natural looking effect. This action has arrived after visitors cars have been getting stuck in the mud whilst parking. It took a morning of several volunteers and rangers to shift the stone along the valley.