Cowberry - Ben Osborne
Along a six-mile ridge of heathland in south Shropshire, 15 miles south of Shrewsbury, an exciting scheme is under way to remove planted conifers and restore the natural vegetation of heather and bilberry.
Working towards a shared vision of a strong and healthy landscape for the people and wildlife that live within it.
This scheme will re-create the habitat of the fabulous emperor moth – the only UK member of the silk moth family – as well as encouraging heathland birds such as the wheatear, whinchat and red grouse.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust manages four small reserves on the Stiperstones, while other areas are owned by farmers, private owners and public bodies such as the Foresty Commission and Natural England. Together, we are working towards a shared vision for this landscape, as a strong and healthy expanse of wildness for both the people and wildlife that live within it.
The Back to Purple scheme was hatched in the mid-1990s; today, most of the conifers have gone and the heathland is recovering. The caterpillar of the emperor moth can, once again, crawl almost the whole length of the ridge on its favourite food, heather.
Start date: 1996
Scheme area: 20,200 hectares
Trust reserves within the scheme
This scheme is helping species including...
Current threats to the landscape
This scheme is also...
Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, improving access for people, encouraging green tourism, producing local food.
Natural England, Forestry Commission, National Trust, local authorities, local landowners, Shropshire Hills AONB