Westhope wilding project takes off

Following the launch of a wilding project in south Shropshire this autumn, a Shropshire wildlife group has announced that it has secured funding from Shropshire Hills AONB to fund three years of woodland recovery.

Wild about Westhope says that the grant will enable work to commence on restoring areas of woodland to improve habitats and increase the potential for biodiversity, especially woodland flora which are in serious decline. The group added that woodlands are under serious threat from pest and diseases including Ash die back, and the project aims to make the area more resilient to climate change.

Landowner and founder of Wild About Westhope, Anne Dyer, said: “We are delighted to benefit from the AONB grant and to put the first steps of our woodland restoration into practice.”

To help facilitate the project, Wild About Westhope is looking to involve local volunteers who will learn about Sustainable Woodland management and support the start of the restoration project that is due to run for three years. No experience needed just plenty of enthusiasm.

Anne added: “We are hoping local people will bring their whole family along and make it a great day out in the fresh air with lots of opportunities to learn more about woodland habitat and get some healthy exercise at the same time."

The first family volunteer day will take place on Sunday, January 16, which will involve the planting of the new trees. Volunteer days will start at 10am and finish at approximately 1pm but volunteers can stay for however long they wish.

Volunteers should meet in Westhope College car park at 10am. Hot drinks are going to be provided - but volunteers are encouraged to bring any food items if required along with a spade and a mug.

Further family activity days, open to anyone, will take place on February 13 and March 13.

During the course of the next few months, the group will establish various activities and recruit volunteers to help with wilding projects – from woodland planting and meadow preservation initiatives together with species identification.

For more information contact Sue Corfield on 07931 257393.

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