New nature reserve to be designated in Church Stretton
A "treasured" woodland and community field in Church Stretton could soon be designated as a nature reserve.
At its November meeting last night, Church Stretton Town Council accepted the recommendation of its Advisory Management Committee that an application be made to Natural England for Rectory Wood and Field to be formally designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
Following a community consultation, the town council took over ownership of the area from Shropshire Council some five years ago.
A rolling management plan is implemented by the town council, Shropshire Council, the National Trust, contractors and volunteers.
Church Stretton Mayor Bob Welch said: "It was ‘Capability’ Brown who advised on the original lay-out of the wood in the 18th Century.
"Ongoing archaeology is uncovering and restoring more of the original features.
"The wood was described by a national newspaper a few years ago as 'the most tranquil place in England’. It is a setting treasured by residents and visitors alike."
Rectory Wood and Field will join Coppice Leasowes alongside the A49 as the second Local Nature Reserve in the town, the latter designated in 1998.
Yet more biodiversity can be found in the Wetlands south of the town, recently recognised as a wildlife ite itself, following the discovery of water voles and other rare species.
Councillor Welch added: “We are grateful for the volunteers who help to maintain these precious sites, with particular thanks to Dr John Box, honorary conservation adviser to the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, who is preparing the formal application to Natural England.”