Friday, 9 December 2016

Events at Wenlock Edge in 2017


April 9th - Wild Garlic Walk  10am – 12noon
Join us on a walk through our woods this spring and you won't fail to notice the fragrant smell of wild garlic as you stroll through. We will walk through an area where wild garlic carpets the slope as far as the eye can see, a truly stunning display when it flowers later on, before tasting some of our very own garlic pesto and taking an 'all things garlic' recipe sheet home with you.
Walk about 1 mile distance at a leisurely pace.
£3 per person, Booking required.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582977


April 13th 2017  - Shelter Building  11am – 2pm
Come along to our shelter building drop in session. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
£2 per child, no need to book.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582975


April 20th 2017 – Wild Woods Adventure Trail   11am – 3pm
If you go down to the woods today you’ll be sure of a big surprise. Come and join us for some fun at Wenlock Edge – explore the woods and search for the clues on our trail.
£2 each, no need to book.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582976


May 14th 2017 – Wild Food Foraging   10am – 2pm
See what edible delights can be found at Wilderhope in Spring and learn how to identify different edible and poisonous species. Head back to the manor house to learn how to process the plants and enjoy a wild edible lunch.
£10 per person, booking required. Lunch and tasters included.
Wilderhope Car park Grid ref: SO 544 928


May 21st 2017 – Wild Food Foraging (Repeated)   10am – 2pm
(Repeated due to popular demand)
See what edible delights can be found at Wilderhope in Spring and learn how to identify different edible and poisonous species. Head back to the manor house to learn how to process the plants and enjoy a wild edible lunch.
£10 per person. Lunch and tasters included.
Wilderhope Car park Grid ref: SO 544 929


June 11th 2017 – An introduction to the butterflies of Wenlock Edge  10am – 1pm
This is an event for beginners. An opportunity to have a look for summer species of butterfly around some botanically rich areas along Wenlock Edge. We will talk about how to identify the various species we encounter and learn about their ecology. Bring a packed lunch.
£5 per person, booking required.
Much Wenlock car park Grid ref: SO 613996


August 3rd 2017 Shelter Building  11am-2pm
Come along to our shelter building drop in session. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
£2 per child, no need to book.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582976


August 10th 2017 – Wild Woods Adventure Trail   11am – 3pm
If you go down to the woods today you’ll be sure of a big surprise. Come and join us for some fun at Wenlock Edge – explore the woods and search for the clues on our trail.
£2 per child, no need to book.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582976


August 17th 2017 – Shelter Building  11am – 2pm
Come along to our shelter building drop in session. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
£2 per child, no need to book.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582976


August 24th 2017 – 50 Things Blitz   11am – 3pm
Come and tick off a number of 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4. Hunt for bugs using our specialist equipment, make a trail with sticks/mud pie, Hunt for fossils in our quarries and bird watch from our bird hide - look for woodland birds,
£2 per child, no need to book.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582977


August 26th 2017 – Lime trees and Holloways  2pm – 5pm
Wenlock Edge is one of the areas of the Britain that is noted for the Large-leaved Lime. Many of these were planted by the monks of Wenlock Abbey and are wonderful old, mainly pollarded, specimens. Wenlock Edge also contains many ancient holloways along which people have travelled for centuries. Come along and join us to find out about the connection between these ancient holloways and the limes. Wear walking boots for the walk (total distance about 2 miles).
£6 per person, booking required.


September 17th 2017 – The Archaeology of Wenlock Edge   10am – 2pm
Jump into the industrial heritage of Wenlock Edge, discovering lime kilns, charcoal halves and much more!
£7 per person, booking required.
Much Wenlock car park Grid ref: SO 613996


October 28th 2017 – Halloween at Wenlock Edge  3pm – 5pm
Look as scary as you can to scare away ghouls by making your own bat. We will go in search of a witch who will tell us spooky stories. Children are encouraged to come in fancy dress, the best will win a prize and all the little monsters will leave with a ghostly treat. Please wear sensible shoes, bring a torch and wrap up warm.
50p per bat and £2 per child for the walk. No need to book.
This event is aimed at young children i.e. 10 and under but older children are welcome and should enjoy it too.
Presthope car park Grid ref: SO 582977


October 28th 2017 -  All Hallow’s Eve Walk  7pm – 9pm
Join us as we waunder through the wild Wenlock woods at night and watch out for bats, witches and ghouls! Please wear sensible shoes, warm clothes and bring a torch. This event may not be suitable for children under the age of 10 years old.
£5 per person, Booking required.
Much Wenlock car park Grid ref: SO 613995


October 29th 2017 -  All Hallow’s Eve Walk (Repeated)  7pm – 9pm
(Repeated due to popular demand)
Join us as we waunder through the wild Wenlock woods at night and watch out for bats, witches and ghouls! Please wear sensible shoes, warm clothes and bring a torch. This event may not be suitable for children under the age of 10 years old.
£5 per person, Booking required.
Much Wenlock car park Grid ref: SO 613995


November 19th 2017 – Winter Woodland Walk  10am – 2pm
We will start in one of our species-rich meadows, home to our flock of Hebridean sheep, where our ranger tells us about this rare habitat and how we manage it. Then we will wander through the woods, taking in views and vistas and finding out about woodland management, timber sales, access and the rare and special wildlife of Wenlock Edge. Then watch a short coppicing demonstration and learn about the benefits to wildlife it brings.
£7 per person, booking required.
Much Wenlock car park Grid ref: SO 613997





CONTACT DETAILS FOR EVENTS:

Email: wenlockedge@nationaltrust.org.uk

 Phone: 01694 725000

 Website:
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wenlock-edge




Monday, 5 December 2016

Dormouse update

We have just received the results of the last dormouse nest box check (done at the end of October) and we have had the best results that we have ever had! We have 24 dormouse boxes on Wenlock Edge and 11 of them had a dormouse nest or the adorable mammal inside (in one box there were 3 dormice!). In 2017 we are going to install 26 more boxes to provide even more suitable summer nest sites and to further encourage our resident population to grow.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Halloween at Wenlock Edge

We had a spooktacular time in the woods on Saturday. In the afternoon we had the children's halloween event, they all came in fancy dress, we made bats and met some strange witches and ghouls who told us scary stories. 



Later that evening we ventured into the woods in the pitch dark for the All Hallows Eve walk search for bats and to meet some of the ghostly and frightening characters that live on Wenlock Edge.



Sunday, 25 September 2016

Woodland walk volunteer training day

Last Wednesday we had a volunteer training day called ‘woodland walk’ led by Area Ranger Alistair. We organise a training day every other month so that our volunteers can mingle and gain more knowledge about the property. The woodland walk gave our volunteers an overview of the property, its past and our management. Twelve volunteers joined us as we explored the north end of the edge.


  Alistair had a lot to fit in; he talked about how the Trust acquired the land, archaeology, geology, our species-rich meadows, coppicing, dormice, other flora and fauna found here, woodland management, future threats, timber sales, managing for access and our 50 year vision. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day and we hope it has given them a broader perspective of the site as a whole.


The day started slightly hazy with cloud sitting on the edge but brightened up later, becoming warm enough for us to spot speckles woods, red admirals and this comma butterfly.


Introduction to the new Wenlock placement

Emily Potter is our new full time volunteer; she started in August and finishes in July 2017. She will be assisting us with all our tasks so that she can get essential industry experience. You are likely to see her during her time with us and I’m sure you will all make her feel welcome.

Emily says: “Hello, I’m Emily and I’m this year’s Placement student. I’m from Warwickshire and studying Wildlife Conservation and Natural Resource Management at Harper Adams University. I am interested in the survey work at Wenlock Edge including the small mammal trapping and butterfly counts and I have practical work experience from my time volunteering at Draycote Water for Severn Trent.  By completing this placement I hope to gain more skills that I can use in a future job as a ranger”. 


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Interpretation survey

Last month our placement student Katy presented the results of a survey that she undertook as her project. The survey gathered visitor’s views on interpretation at Wenlock Edge, assessed demand for more, evaluated interpretation options and made recommendations. Data was collected via questionnaires from 120 people visiting our car parks between March and April. The main results were;

89% of respondents think that existing interpretation is good or very good.

When asked about their knowledge of Wenlock Edge the majority said they knew little or nothing and the most popular areas of interest were conservation, wildlife and history.

The most popular interpretive forms were panels, on-line and self-guided walks. Since this survey two interpretation panels have been installed at the Presthope and Wilderhope car parks. 

38% of people said they want a greater National Trust presence on site, for security and to provide information and since then we have recruited a number of volunteer rangers.

Recommendations included; utilising printed material (i.e. being in the National Trust handbook and having walks leaflets), using digital media (i.e. more information on the website) and on-site installations (i.e. benches and sculptures). The data and recommendations will feed into our interpretation plan. 

Mammal monitoring

Since June our volunteer, Abbi has been carrying out small mammal monitoring in Blakeway Coppice. Due to sporadic weather and people’s availability she has rearranged some dates but still managed to complete 7 surveys, the last one being carried out this week. 
A yellow-necked mouse

The survey consists of two transects with 10 tube traps (live traps) on each: the first is alongside the main track and the second within the Hazel coppice. The traps were baited with seed and apple and some hay is put in for them to make a nest for the night. We didn’t use casters to bait shrews as they have a very high mortality rate in traps. 

A Bank vole
The success rate has been increasing each survey getting as high as 40% (the national average is 17%)! Along with a very healthy slug population Abbi has recorded 25 bank voles and 9 wood mice: the majority being male adults. Also when trapping around our base we caught 2 yellow-necked mice! Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time to help, especially Abbi who organised and ran the survey and Charlotte Huntly who has helped at every survey. 
Abbi identifying a small mammal

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A welcome new visitor in Ippikin’s meadow


In July we spent a few days doing our annual ragwort pick in Ippikin's meadow. We pick ragwort because we can't have it in our hay crop as it is poisonous to animals such as horses and can also take over a meadow. When we were picking ragwort, Ippikin’s was filled with the colours of purple vetch, ladies bedstraw, devil’s bit scabious and more. I also had the pleasure of watching lots of ringlet, meadow brown butterflies and a little skipper fluttering around but I was surprised to see 4 marbled white butterflies, as we have never seen them on Wenlock Edge before!






This beautiful butterfly is unmistakable; its black and white markings distinguish it from all other species in Britain. They are abundant in the south of England and recently have extended their range and made their way to us. Adults emerge late June and fly through
till August. After discovering them I sent my volunteers on a mission: to catch on camera the stunning invertebrates. Look on our Facebook for all the photos.

Monday, 25 July 2016

More biomass


In addition to supplying all the wood fuel needs at Carding Mill Valley, Wenlock Edge has just supplied its first lorry load of wood for the new Attingham Park heating system, which is being installed for this winter. This lorry load is part of an annual commitment from Wenlock Edge which will supplement supplies from the Attingham estate. It is conifer which has been felled as part of a programme to restore ancient woodland sites to broadleaved woodland. Once at Attingham the wood will be stored for up to 2 years to dry out before being chipped and burnt instead of the current system which uses oil. This new system will help us reach targets to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Grassland monitoring


Over the last month volunteer Charlotte Huntley has been helping to plot transects in four grassland areas for future grassland monitoring. This involved creating a route for the volunteers to follow that was representative of the grassland and deciding where they should stop to record information. Volunteers will look for any negative indicators (such as nettles and docks), do a species count and measure the average sward height. These are rare habitats so it is important to monitor whether our management of the grasslands is successful, and to indicate where action might need to be taken.



Katy leaving!


Our placement student Katy has finished her placement with us and is returning to Harper Adams University to finish her degree. Katy has assisted with events, surveys and conservation work as well as leading on a variety of projects. She has been a valuable member of our team, is always smiling and we will be sad to see her go. Katy - Thank you for your time, effort and enthusiasm, we wish you all the best for the future.

     

Katy said: ‘I’d just like to thank everyone that I have encountered during my time at Wenlock Edge, for making it such an enjoyable year and a fantastic experience for me; especially to Kate and Al for their support and making it all the more special; I’m going to miss you all a lot!’


Thursday, 7 July 2016

National Meadows Day!


National Meadows Day was on 2nd July and to celebrate this we decided to provide a wild flower training day for our Wenlock Edge volunteers in our very own meadows!

Rob our wild flower expert for the day teaching us everything we need to know!

Rob Webster came along to lead the day for us and teach us everything we need to know about wild flowers.

We began on the verge outside the Much Wenlock car park where even in that small space there was an astonishing array of beautiful flowering pyramidal orchids and southern marsh orchids in amongst all the bright pink clovers.

Examining the wild flowers

We then moved into the meadow in the Much Wenlock car park to see what flowering plants we could try and identify and then finally finished up in Ballstone Quarry (both meadows with our lovely flock of Hebridean sheep in); and it was there we spotted a stunning viper's bugloss (which was a spectacle to see) and wild thyme!

Scattered across the meadows and reading our wild flower books


Viper's bugloss

We learnt to identify many of the flowering plants that thrive in the limestone grasslands on the Edge including; pyramidal orchids, common spotted orchids, eyebright, devil's bit scabious, agrimony, birds foot trefoil and many more.

Engrossed in identifying the wild flowers



After a lovely day exploring the meadows in the sun! 

The weather was glorious so we even had the pleasure of spotting about 14 ringlet butterflies, a small blue, 4 meadow browns, a common blue and a gorgeous large skipper.

The large skipper sunning itself on a devil's bit scabious

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Wild Woods Adventure Trail (Summer Version)

On Sunday it was our Wild Woods Adventure Trail event. Despite the not so great weather forecast, a number of families came out to search for clues and answer questions along the trail! Some of the activities along the way involved making a mobile with sticks, leaves and string, and stick men, as well as bird spotting in the bird hide with one of our volunteers!

Making mobiles!


Going through the answers!
On finishing the trail we had a touch display on our stand with various objects related to Wenlock, as well as activity sheets for children to take home and an array of posters/pictures to have a look at.

Looking at the touch display and trying to identify objects!

Showing off their beautiful mobiles

A great day was seemed to be enjoyed by those who got turned out, with participants receiving a prize at the end!



All getting involved in making the mobiles


Looking at the nibbled nuts!


Replacing the kissing gates at Wilderhope

Last Tuesday, at Wilderhope, with the Tuesday volunteer group, we were replacing a metal kissing gate with a wooden kissing gate to try to keep within the ‘spirit of place’ of the surrounding area. We have one more left to replace and hopefully you will agree that they are much more in keeping with the countryside than the metal gate posts!

Half-way there with our happy, smiling volunteers


Phil doing what he does best!

Filling in the hole

Dick hammering the nails in