“The Trust’s aim is to promote, protect and conserve the living landscape of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site”

Little Acorns Walks

Little Acorns Walks

Book onto one of our Outdoor Learning Programme courses and discover something new!

Book onto one of our Outdoor Learning Programme courses and discover something new!

Latest

Make hay whilst the sun might shine

This summer has been really challenging for farmers and land managers due to the weather being so changeable. We have managed to cut, dry (after turning it 4 times instead of the usual 2) and bale Ropewalk and Wilderness Meadows and have now started on Crackshall (see picture) but more rain is forecast for later. By investing in our own baler we can be more flexible and cut the hay a few fields at a time but it’s still a struggle. Hay with more than 20% moisture can heat up quickly when baled and spoil or spontaneously combust so it’s important to get it as dry as possible. The added problems at the moment are heavy almost autumnal dew every morning which rewets the hay and the very humid overcast conditions which are not good for drying. Another challenge is that the quality of the hay starts to drop from now on, and we don't want to cut the hay too late on fields we need for winter sheep grazing! What hay makers need is hot sunny and breezy conditions, but none are forecast for the next few weeks. As with every job we do it is all part of the complexity and we have to do our best and constantly change our plans and be flexible. We are grateful to our many Trust contractors who work with us so patiently to make this all happen.  IMG_4278  

White Admiral Colony discovered

A new colony of White Admiral butterflies, first discovered last year in Lloyds Coppice has been confirmed as present this year. Thanks to the work of some of our excellent volunteer recorders Liz Rogers and Christine Littlewood. Photo c. Liz Rogers. Butterfly Conservation's Dr Jenny Joy is coming over next week to take a look. These butterflies like feeding on bramble nectar along sunny rides, but they spend much of their lives in the canopy of oak trees basking in the sunshine and drink aphid honeydew. [caption id="attachment_3844" align="alignnone" width="300"]Female adult White Admiral feeding on bramble in Lloyds Coppice, Ironbridge, Shrops showing upper and under wings. Female adult White Admiral feeding on bramble in Lloyds Coppice, Ironbridge, Shrops showing upper and under wings.[/caption].

Good partnership with Field Studies Council

A great evening yesterday spent at Preston Montford, headquarters of the Field Studies Council, being shown around by Head of Centre Adrian Pickles.  Its an amazing site next to the River Severn just outside Shrewsbury and they teach literally thousands of children and adults about nature and countryside management each year. Twenty three had gathered to see the latest progress on Fran's Meadow and to discuss the next part of the plan where SGCT will provide some hay scythe training and bring some more bales of wildflower rich hay working with local volunteers and ecologists. It was very satisfying to know that after just one year this meadow is already being well used by the FSC as a teaching resource. The FSC is a great organisation - keep up the good work! In the picture Adrian was explaining how the geology of the Severn at Preston Montford links to the Geology at Ironbridge in the glacial period. IMG_3918.

The Iron Trail