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Campaign to buy and restore county beauty spot

By Lucy Todman | Stiperstones | News | Published:

Natural England is calling on the public to donate to their campaign to raise money to purchase and restore one hectare of land in the heart of the Shropshire countryside.

Stiperstones National Nature Reserve is famous for its wild and atmospheric landscape and nationally significant geology.

The restoration and purchasing of Windy Corner is one more step towards creating a continuous heathland along the entire 10km of the Stiperstones ridge, allowing an emperor moth caterpillar to be able to crawl from one end of the landscape to the other.

Once restored, there will be a carpet of purple heather, whinberries and cowberries which will attract lots of invertebrates such as green tiger beetle, emperor moth and green hairstreak butterfly.

Windy Corner, located near a Shropshire Way walking path, will be restored to heathland as another step towards realising the ‘Back to Purple’ vision.

The restoration will also improve public enjoyment of the reserve as the land will have open access and add to the area of heathland enjoyed by the visitors to the National Nature Reserve. The public will also have opportunities to participate in, and contribute to, the restoration through a seed spreading volunteer activity, and opportunities for schools to do research projects

Natural England’s area manager Emma Johnson said: "We have a great opportunity here to increase the area of heathland, adding to the iconic Stiperstones landscape. Through the generosity of people, both donations and help from volunteers we will be able to provide yet more fantastic habitat for nature in Shropshire, which people will be able to enjoy for generations to come.

"Our aim is to raise £10,000 to purchase Windy Corner and restore the heathland using seeds harvested from the nature reserve. Once the heath is established and thriving, it will be lightly grazed with conservation grazing animals."

Simon Cooter the Senior Reserve Manager for Natural England’s Stiperstones NNR added: “Public support will really help us in reaching our long awaited dream of having purple heather-covered hills stretching along the whole of the Stiperstones ridge. It has been twenty years since the first gains and we can almost reach across the gaps that are left.”

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Natural England is appealing to everyone to help support the purchase and restoration of Windy Corner by making a donation online at http://easydonate.org/PURPLE or through text.

To donate £1, text PURPLE to 70201; £3, text PURPLE to 70331; £5, text PURPLE to 70970 or £10, text PURPLE to 70191

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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