Simon Cooter, Senior Reserve manager, Stiperstones & Downton Gorge NNRs wrote:” It was in 2010 that John Lawton wrote his “Making Space for Nature” report for the government,which highlighted the problems caused by habitat loss and fragmentation and argued the case for better managed nature reserves.
All of the nature conservation bodies in England have taken up the challenge and here in the Shropshire Hills, it will hopefully be delivered by the Stepping Stones project that is currently being developed by the National Trust and Natural England.
This work is now underway, with conifers being felled and drainage ditches being blocked. We are looking to purchase a conifer plantation (Bergum Wood) adjacent to the National Nature Reserve, just south of the Stiperstones village, with a view to restoring it to upland oak woodland. In time, as the broadleaf woodland develops it hopefully will attract typical birds such as redstarts, tree pipits and pied flycatchers and, as the scrub layer develops, will become a further home to the dormice that freqent the area. The site will be fenced to prevent grazing animals browsing the ground flora and the hope is that it will one day be restored into a beautiful oak woodland with a carpet of bluebells.”
Natural England have launched a fundraising scheme to raise enough funds to purchase the 1.28 hectare site by the end of May 2017.
The Mary Webb Society has raised over £200 from members’ donations and this should result in our name being displayed on the gate. This area is right in the heart of Mary Webb country and something we all felt needed our support
If you would like to donate you can follow the national funding scheme website and search Natural England link to Bergum wood