Welcome to the National Trust on Wenlock Edge

A wooded limestone ridge of high bio-diversity, interspersed with species rich grassland

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wenlock Edge Meadows

The pyramidal orchids in Ippikins meadow are looking fantastic right now, ranging from pale to hot pink and if you are lucky you might spot a bee orchid among them. Ippikins is also chock full of birds foot trefoil (also known as bacon and eggs) and yellow rattle, which are both great for invertebrates. Another good place to see pyramidal orchids is the Much Wenlock car park and if you want to see common spotted orchids you can visit Wilderhope or walk around the Harley bank and Smokey hole area of the edge. 

Pyramidal orchids  in Much Wenlock car park
Pyramidal orchid in Ippikins meadow

Bee orchid in Ippikins
Common spotted orchid near Smokey hole
Birds foot trefoil (bacon and eggs)

Improving our paths

We and Shropshire and Staffordshire National Trust volunteers spent this Sunday resurfacing some of our paths near Presthope car park. This involved shovelling crushed rock into barrows and then pushing them up and down the paths to spread the rock where it’s needed.  

Spreading the stone across the path
 This job is tough in hot summer weather conditions but it can’t be done when the paths are muddy. However we did have two motorised barrows (they drive like a tank) for the longer distance work which helped a lot and these supplemented the hand barrows. We moved about 15 tons of rock and covered about 150m of path.Thank you again for all your hard work SSNTV! 

Having a well deserved rest

The finished path

Monday, 22 June 2015

Wonderful Wilderhope Wild Flowers

Wilderhope is a brilliant place to go for a walk because of the impressive manor and stunning views but it is especially beautiful at this time of year with its many wild flower meadows. The meadows are full of flowers such as yellow rattle, red clover and bird's foot trefoil and are humming with pollinators!

In our very small meadow called the pudding bag a number of common-spotted orchids are flowering. We are really pleased that these species are present as it shows that our long-term grassland management which involves, mowing, grazing and hay strewing is working. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Our Tuesday Tasks

Over the past month we have had contractors thinning along the railway through Easthope wood. We have been winching the felled trees out of the wood and stacking it along the track so that it is out of the way and ready to be collected and sold.  

Before work started
 Winching is tricky enough when you are pulling 2 tonne lengths on a slope but made even harder when you have to pull it through thick scrub. Therefore our volunteers have been clearing scrub from the ride side and burning it, this has already made a big improvement to timber extraction and is making the track feel wider and sunnier.    
The Johns cutting and burning the brash

The bank after we had cleared the scrub

A helping hand at Morville Hall

Last week we got a call from Alison Hopewell, NT rural surveyor who was trapped at Morville Hall by a fallen branch.

Last week we got a call from Alison Hopewell, NT rural surveyor who was trapped at Morville Hall by a fallen branch. The willow tree had two branches which had grown too close together and so were slowly pushing against one another. This pressure just continued to build as the tree grew and became heavier and heavier. This meant that the join was weak and it just couldn’t hold under the high winds and unfortunately for Alison it blocked the whole road narrowly missing the telephone cable. So we grabbed the chainsaws, headed over and processed the branch into manageable pieces before dragging it out of the way.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Volunteer induction walk

A little while ago we recruited a number of new volunteers to fill various roles at Wenlock Edge including; woodland volunteers, rangers and engagement volunteers. Their induction is ongoing with volunteers learning on the job and on organised training days. This week we led an ‘introduction to Wenlock Edge’ training day where we tried to give general background knowledge to some of our new volunteers. The heavens smiled on us and we were blessed with blue skies and bright sunshine. We wandered to smokey hole, granham’s mount, to major’s leap and back down blakeway hollow, taking in the impressive views as we went.

If you are interested in volunteering at Wenlock Edge please email me at kate.price@nationaltrust.org.uk to find out more information about what positions we have available.

Working together to connect children to nature

Over the past few weeks we have been working with the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Shropshire Hills AONB to deliver the John Muir Award to three local primary schools; Rushbury, Cockshutt and Lawley. To gain the award the children have to discover a wild place, they must explore it, conserve it and share their experiences with others. The Shropshire Wildlife Trust delivers the award primarily and this month with our support all three schools came to Wenlock Edge to undertake a number of activities.

Rushbury School undertook the first ever small mammal survey near Presthope, created insect habitats, completed a bird survey from the bird hide and learnt to identify different tree species. Cockshutt school also did a small mammal survey and then looked for fossils at Smokey hole and Lawley did a wild flower survey, insect survey and nettle bashing. We understand how important it is to inspire the next generation and to help them reconnect with nature. We are really happy that we could work in partnership with the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Shropshire Hills AONB to do so.