The Stiperstones - Back to Purple and Beyond

Cowberry - Ben OsborneCowberry - 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.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust


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. 

What’s happening?

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

Earl's Hill, Hollies ReservesNipstoneBrook_Vessons

This scheme is helping species including...

Emperor moth (the only UK member of the silk moth Family), wheatear, whinchat and red grouse

Current threats to the landscape

Habitat fragmentation

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

To find out more

Email Shropshire Wildlife Trust | Tel: 01743 284280 | The Stiperstones Living Landscape

Living Landscapes

Find out more about our Living Landscape conservation work - targeting areas for landscape-scale nature conservation  and transforming places for people and wildlife.

Living Landscape schemes

Search our directory of more than 100 Living Landscape schemes

Search our directory of more than 100 Living Landscape schemes around the UK, the Isle of Man and Alderney.