Natural England is calling on the public to donate to their campaign to raise money to buy and restore one hectare of land on the edge of Stiperstones National Nature Reserve (NNR) called Windy Corner.
Stiperstones NNR in Shropshire is famous for its wild and atmospheric landscape and nationally significant geology. The restoration and purchasing of Windy Corner is one more step towards the vision of creating a continuous heathland along the entire 10km of the Stiperstones ridge. This will allow an emperor moth caterpillar to be able to crawl from one end of this iconic upland landscape to the other.
Once restored, there will be a carpet of purple heather, whinberries and cowberries. This will attract lots of invertebrates such as green tiger beetle, emperor moth and green hairstreak butterfly. The charming birdsong of skylark, stonechat and cuckoo will also fill the air.
Windy corner, located near Shropshire Way walking path, will be restored to heathland as another step towards realising the ‘Back to Purple’ vision. They hope the restoration will also increase 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 says:
“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. 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, Senior Reserve Manager for Natural England’s Stiperstones NNR says:
“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.
To find out more about Stiperstones National Nature Reserve click here.