Leap of faith for Shropshire paraglider Richard
Here's one way to take in the majesty of the Shropshire Hills in spring. Daredevil Richard Howells is among paragliders who enjoy launching off the Long Mynd.
The Black Knoll, on the western-facing side of the hill, is a favourite haunt for people with a taste for adventure.
Richard, 35, from Priorslee, Telford, is the chief executive of Bronze Software in the town.
But he loves nothing more than launching off from the Long Mynd, a spot used for the sport since the mid-1970s. He said: "I qualified as a club pilot with the Shropshire paragliding school called Beyond Extreme.
"I trained for about 10 months. I've done training flights at Llangollen, Gyrn Moelfre and the Long Mynd. I'm looking forward to flying The Wrekin soon now I've qualified as it's just a couple of minutes' drive from my house.
"Shropshire is an amazing place. I often travel to big cities in the UK and around the world and find Shropshire to be comparably a very clean and green place – this is really evident from the air.
"Paragliding requires no engine, you're flying literally on air currents just like a bird of prey so there is almost no sound as you soar across ridges like the Stiperstones on to the gateway to Wales.
"Many pilots drive for hours on end to come to Shropshire. We forget just how lucky we are to have this wonderful countryside right on our doorstep."
Trains between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton may be cancelled each Saturday until New Year due to strike action
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