Attention! Stand Easy

3A26E294-5F55-4EF7-8BC1-8FD7FB684975Friends of Whitcliffe Common Trustees have welcomed plans for the memorial soldier on Whitcliffe to return for a week each side of Remembrance Day but decided that having the silhouette there all year round would make it less special.
Rick Summers said the soldier had been absolutely right to celebrate the centenary this year but would would lose its poignant effect if it was there all the year round.
“We already have a permanent memorial bench and we should welcome the silhouette back into position for a week each side of Remembrance Day as well as look at any future special anniversaries.

Feast of fungi promotes Whitcliffe wildlife

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

67F12133-28C4-41B8-ABDA-D37C2ECB50F0Fungi of Whitcliffe Common
Autumn on Whitcliffe is a beautiful time. Golden colours, stunning light but above all its fungi. The array of habitats and mix of trees mean a diversity of toadstools.

Fungi and trees have evolved together for millions of years and have become mutually dependant. The red and white-spotted fly agaric associates with birch and is a frequent sight at the top of the Common.

In the meadow around the toposcope look out for colourful little jewels that are waxcaps. These thrive in old grassland not poisoned with fertilizers and pesticides.

The fungal stars of Whitcliffe are its ancient trees – oaks, beeches and sweet chestnuts. These have been hollowed out by the action of fungi. Far from making the trees dangerous, it helps them to survive by reducing the forces from high winds. Hollow trunks and branches become homes for wildlife such as owls and even pine martens.

So the next time you take a walk on Whitciffe and spot a mushroom sprouting out of the ground or on a tree, just remember that without fungi there wouldn’t be the wealth of wildlife and the Common would look very different indeed.

John Hughes
Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Meadow Flowers Prosper

Harebells

Harebells

Fiona Gomersall, from Shropshire Wildlife Trust carried out a wildflower survey in the summer to see if strewing the meadow hay and other work has led to any increase in wildflower varieties. The good news is …. it has.
Fiona writes:”I’ve just been looking through the data, comparing the list with last year and of the significant new species I’d say that Harebell and Heath Grass were the most interesting-the others were common. These two signify an increase in good indicator species that are found in more acidic meadows. There is already an acidic component to Whitcliffe and it means that the biodiversity of this element is increasing in a positive way. There was also an increase in Sheep’s Fescue, Common Knapweed and Tormentil-all indicating that the meadow is improving in its condition and diversity.

Lantern Walk

The popular lantern walk over  Whitcliffe will take place this year on November 3 at 4.30 pm. Tickets in advance from Bryony at Shropshire Wildlife Trust.

There is a difference this year. There will be no lantern making workshop. Lanterns will be supplied within the £5 ticket price.

Huge ash tree dealt with

00731B52-10D1-4B14-9196-7739416D4E3B

Sorry if you were slightly delayed yesterday Sept 27.We had to deal with a big ash trees above the hairpin bend using a hydraulic lift. The work took two hours  for the tree surgeons and another three hours for volunteers to clear up and reopen paths.

Unfortunately the work coincided with closure of Bell Lane and traffic was rerouted over Whitcliffe. We knew nothing about Bell Lane closure in advance.

Pipe sealed and fish pass back on track

The pipes uncovered by work on the fish pass are believed to have once linked the tannery In Corve St with the pumping station at Mill St and appear on a map from the 1862 though what they carried, and what they may still contain is anybody’s guess.

We will never know because the fish pass plans have been adapted to seal them in concrete. Work is once more progressing. The floor of the fish pass is now laid and the walls are now up.