Monday, 24 August 2015

Interesting flora

The orchids may be gone but there are still beautiful flowers in our meadows. If you look closely you will see Eyebright doing brilliantly and we have two stunning viper’s bugloss plants growing in Ballstone quarry (which bees and hoverflies love). The woods are also filled with lots of delicate enchanter’s nightshade and beautiful bramble flowers. 

Viper's bugloss 


 Enchanter’s nightshade

Ranger information stand

On various Sundays this Summer we are trialing setting up a ranger stand in the Much Wenlock car park. The aim is to provide a point of information for visitors so we will be there to answer questions, hand out interesting leaflets and to talk about what makes Wenlock edge special. Depending on the weather we will be there again soon so if you see us do come over for a chat.

Here is our engagement volunteer Laura on the ranger stand 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Shelter building

We have ran two shelter building events this month, near Presthope car park. The shelters were very elaborate with the children (and parents) spending lots of time making their den special. Some shelters had curtains, weaved walls, fern carpet and even secret passwords! 

 Before the event myself and volunteers cut down Ash and Hazel saplings which were growing under power lines on Hughley bank; these were perfect for den building so we had a huge supply. 


Ragwort is poisonous to cattle and horses and even more so once it has been cut and dried during hay production. Ragwort produces vast amounts of seeds which are dispersed by the wind meaning they spread quickly. Therefore each year we walk around our meadows in Ippikins and the Much Wenlock car park, pulling out ragwort. There used to be large amounts growing in our meadows but we are happy to report that only a few handfuls were found this year. This means that our management has been successful!

Hay strewing

At the end of August Shropshire Youth forum came to help us with some seed relocation. Alistair used a mower to cut the grass in the pudding bag; a very species-rich grassland. Then we gathered up the vegetation and loaded it into the trailer before driving to another less diverse meadow behind Wilderhope Manor. Once there, we strew the foliage over the meadow by hand to get an even coverage. 

Hopefully some of the seed will germinate and next year we should see an increase in wild flowers. By mowing the pudding bag we also removed nutrients from the soil which will discourage vigorous grasses and brambles and encourage low nutrient loving flora such as orchids.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Path resurfacing with SSNTV

Last Sunday Shropshire and Staffordshire National Trust Volunteers (SSNTV) came out to help us resurface more of the footpaths around Presthope. There was a great turn out and they moved a huge amount of stone. We used normal wheelbarrows, power barrows, shovels and elbow grease.