Carding Mill Valley attracts high praise from sheriff

Carding Mill Valley visitor attraction was among the delightful stops for Shropshire's first citizen during her county tour.

Shropshire High Sheriff Mrs Dean Harris visits National Trust Carding Mill Valley in Church Stretton
Shropshire High Sheriff Mrs Dean Harris visits National Trust Carding Mill Valley in Church Stretton

High Sheriff Dean Harris was given a warm welcome when she stopped off in Church Stretton to visit the National Trust site, community volunteers, town council staff and business owners.

She was accompanied by the mayor Councillor Bob Welch to several sites to meet staff.

Mrs Harris said: “The community spirit in Church Stretton was clear to see – and the way volunteers and businesses had pulled together over lockdown to ensure anyone who was vulnerable had regular supplies and social contact was admirable.

“Carding Mill Valley is truly a gem for Shropshire walkers, and I was delighted to meet with the National Trust team there to hear about their experiences this year.

"While I naturally want to encourage as many people as possible to make use of the beautiful sites we have in our county, I’d like to reiterate the call to do so responsibly and while maintaining social distancing at all times.”

When lockdown eased Carding Mill Valley had just been promoted nationally as‘the third best place in the country for wild walking and wild swimming’ which resulted in a large influx of visitors and huge demand for parking.

While staff and volunteers at the town's Mayfair Centre were at the heart of efforts to support residents during lockdown.

The group took on 120 new volunteers to deliver supplies to those shielding or self-isolating and made supportive phone calls.

At the Co-operative Store manager Julie Sumner explained how the branch made more than 4,000 home deliveries during the pandemic, more than any other branch in the region.

Mrs Harris also greeted John Vine, of Newsworld and Stretton Hardware, who co-ordinated home deliveries from independent shops including the pharmacies, Mr Bun the Baker and Hough’s Butchers.

The visit ended at Carding Mill Valley where she discussed the issue of coping with social distancing for large number of visitors with the staff.

Councillor Welch said: “The High Sheriff’s public acknowledgement of the collective community effort through the lockdown was much appreciated, as was her engagement with the issues needing to be addressed to aid the community’s recovery from the pandemic.”

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