After hearing the news about the proposed campaign by local people in Pontesbury to ‘Save-Our-Hill by doing what they could to buy back the leasehold of Pontesford Hill, the committee of the Mary Webb Society decided that they too should get behind this campaign as there were very strong links with Mary Webb.
Mary and Henry had lived at Rose Cottage, Pontesbury from 1914 – 1916 and The Nills from 1916 -1917, this is where Mary wrote The Golden Arrow and told of the legendary Golden Arrow hunt always held on Palm Sundays, finding it was supposed to bring great fortune! In Mary’s words ‘those who seek and find it ‘a charm on ‘em and sorrow and a vast of joy’.
A meeting was held by Mike Mortimer who spearheaded the campaign, together with the Director of Shropshire Homes and trustee of Shropshire Wildlife Trust Howard Thorne, and also Chief Executive of Shropshire Wildlife Trust Colin Preston . One hundred and forty people attended the meeting and the appeal began. £207,500 was the agreed cost of buying the lease. This buys approximately 65 acres across all of the agreed land and includes the contested paths, ‘buldozer’ track, bridleway and lower fort.
All the Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves allow open access to the public and this will also mean Shropshire Wildlife Trust will have the freehold and leasehold of both Pontesford and Earl’s Hill and this joins up with Habberley Valley, which is a site of Special Scientific Interest.
In order to manage the Hill, Shropshire Wildlife Trust will require an additional sum of £67,500 so the total amount to be raised will be £265,000.