Shropshire Hills AONB


Shropshire Hills AONB

Geobox Protected Area
name =Shropshire Hills
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category_local =Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
category_iucn =


image_size = 243
image_caption = The Clee Hills
(L-R: Titterstone Clee Hill and Brown Clee Hill)
country = United Kingdom
country1 =
state = England
state1 =
region = Shropshire
region_type = County
district = South Shropshire
district1 = Telford & Wrekin
district2 = Shrewsbury & Atcham
district3 = Bridgnorth
city_type = Settlements
city = Church Stretton
city1 = Clun
location = West Midlands
lat_d =
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elevation =
area = 802
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highest = Brown Clee Hill
highest location = Clee Hills, South Shropshire
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highest_elevation = 540
lowest =
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established_type =
established_label = as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
established = 1958
established1_type =
established1 =
management_body = Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership
management_location = Craven Arms, South Shropshire
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website = [http://www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk www.shropshirehillssaonb.co.uk]

The Shropshire Hills area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), in the English county of Shropshire, close to its border with Wales. Designated in 1958 [http://www.shrewsbury.gov.uk/public/council/committees/cabinet/2004-03-01/aonb+-+executive+summary2.doc] , the area encompasses convert|802|km2|sqmi of land primarily in the South Shropshire district. The A49 road and Welsh Marches Railway Line bisects the area north-south, passing through or near Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Ludlow.

Hills

The Shropshire Hills, located in the Welsh Marches, are relatively high, with the highest point in the county, Brown Clee Hill, near Ludlow, towering to a height of convert|540|m|ft|0. This gives Shropshire the 13th tallest hill per county in England. Titterstone Clee Hill, part of the Clee Hills, is of a similar height to Brown Clee, at convert|533|m|ft|0, making it the third largest hill. The Stiperstones are the second largest in the county, at convert|536|m|ft|0, and are notable for their tors of quartzite; particularly notable are Devil's Chair (oscoor|SO368991|SO368991) and Shepherd's Rock (oscoor|SO373998|SO373998).

More accessible hills are the Long Mynd, which covers an area of 5,436 acres (8½ square miles) and peaking at Pole Bank at a height of 516 metres (1,693 feet), is located near Church Stretton. It contains Carding Mill Valley, a popular recreational area which was developed as a honeypot to draw tourists away from the more sensitive/protected areas of the Mynd. The Wrekin (convert|407|m|ft|0), located in the far northeastern panhandle of the AONB, is an extremely popular hill with a well-used trail. Located near to Wellington, its position close to the major population centres of Shropshire, and good transport links (A5/M54) make it easy to access. Ercall Hill, a notable geological site, is located just to the north of The Wrekin.

Other prominent hills include Corndon Hill, the summit of which is in Wales, and Lyth Hill, which is located to the south of Shrewsbury near Bayston Hill.

Towns & Villages

The largest town within the AONB is Church Stretton (sometimes known as "Little Switzerland"), which has a population of approximately 4,000. Recently, the restrictions placed on the town by being within the AONB has halted expansion of the town and created a local housing shortage.

Development has shifted south to Craven Arms, which is located just outside the development restriction boundaries, and is where the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership is based.

Clun is a small town of 1,000 located in the east, in the Clun Valley, and is the only other town (apart from Church Stretton) within the boundaries of the AONB.

Ludlow is regionally the largest town, and is the district capital of South Shropshire which the Shropshire Hills are primarily within.

Bishop's Castle is a small town of approximately 1,500, which is located in a niche near the Welsh border to the west.
Bucknell is a small village in the south.

Local Authorities

Approximately 65% of the South Shropshire district is occupied by the AONB. Extremities of the AONB are located in Telford & Wrekin (primarily the The Wrekin hill), Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury & Atcham (South-Western Stiperstones area).

Rivers

* River Clun - starting at Anchor, ends up joining the Teme
* River Teme - flows through Ludlow, before passing into Herefordshire
* River Rea - flows north to south, passes through Cleobury Mortimer

Historical Attractions

Attractions of historical interest located within or near the AONB include Stokesay Castle (near Craven Arms), a well-preserved fortified manor house.

Ludlow Castle in Ludlow was constructed in the 11th Century as the border stronghold of one of the Marcher Lords, Roger de Lacy.

Offa's Dyke, a massive linear earthwork, also runs through the area, and across the Clun Valley area.

Clun Castle is located near Clun.

Wildlife

*Peregrine Falcon
*Dipper
*Ring Ouzel
*Merlin
*Curlew
*Tree Sparrow
*Pied Flycatcher
*Barn Owl
*Red Fox
*Badger
*Red Grouse
*Turtle Dove
*Buzzard
*Common Snipe
*Northern Lapwing
*Common Redshank

Other Attractions

* Clun Forest - remote area of woodland and hills
* Wyre Forest - large woodland, half of which is in Shropshire, the other half in Worcestershire

External links

* [http://www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/ Shropshire Hills AONB]
* [http://www.insectpix.net/shropshire%202.htm Photo gallery]
* [http://www.shropshiregallery.co.uk Images of Shropshire Hills on Shropshire Gallery]


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