The volunteer group which cares for Ludlow’s Whitcliffe Common has issued an urgent plea for new younger blood to help run it.
The 9 remaining Trustees of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common are the “past and the present of Whitcliffe but not the long term future,” said Chair Daphne Jones.
“That may seem a bit harsh to describe ourselves in that way but the truth is we have to be realistic. For FOWC to continue to survive into the future we urgently need new – and younger – blood to join our ranks,” she said.
Most of the present group have been involved in the care of the common for well over 30 years. Those years have seen – first under the chairmanship of the late Alan Poulton, then John Barnard and now Mrs Jones – Whitcliffe transformed from an overgrown “wasteland” smothered in bracken and bramble with deteriorating paths.
It now truly is the jewel of Ludlow, well maintained and a great asset for townspeople and visitors. Though the common is held on lease by Shropshire Wildlife Trust, it is the Friends – and their loyal band of members -who have raised the money to make the transformation possible.
FOWC has also had the support of a magnificent band of volunteers led by Trustee Rick Summers who have provided the muscle and sweat for maintenance and restoration work.
Mrs Jones said, “It is this combination which has made it all possible – and we desperately want it to continue into the future. For that we believe it needs a vibrant local group to continue to support FOWC. And that is what we are trying to do by making this plea.
“The old Commoners Association members did their very best but always lacked the resources that we have managed to put together.”
She acknowledged that the current rising living cost problems and the lack of people able to take early retirement has had an effect on the availability of new volunteers.
“But it is volunteers who make things possible in towns like Ludlow. Many think it is “The Council” which looks after Whitcliffe. But it is not – it is volunteers.
“We, the present Trustees and our volunteers, have worked so hard for so long because of our love for Whitcliffe. There are so many people who live locally who use the common regularly. There must be some who will come forward to take FOWC into the future.
“So please, if you feel you can help by joining us as Trustees – and volunteer workers – please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01584 874773.