Keep The Wrekin wild
I'm putting together a map of the tracks and walks and everything!
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An independent group of individuals who share a love of The Wrekin
and a determination to see it preserved for the good of its
communities, landscape, wildlife and heritage.
Read more about Purpose, principles, activities and structure.
Some promotions about The Wrekin:
The Wrekin Hill
This book is available for £12.99 from all good booksellers and the Halfway House after the launch on 8th April 2007, or direct from Allan himself, in which case send a Sterling cheque for £12.99 made payable to ALLAN FROST at 1 Buttermere Drive, Priorslee, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 9RE, United Kingdom. Overseas buyers should send an International Money Order for that amount (there is no additional charge for postage for this book).
Wrekin Wraiths, Rebels and Romans
The book is available from all good booksellers and the Halfway House on The Wrekin after the official launch at the end of October 2006 or direct from Allan himself, in which case please send a Sterling cheque for £5.99 made payable to ALLAN FROST at 1 Buttermere Drive, Priorslee, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 9RE, United Kingdom. If you live outside the United Kingdom, send an International Money Order for £6.99 made payable to Allan Frost at the above address.
George Evans, the venerable chairman of All Friends Around The Wrekin has a booklet out. Already on its second reprint and the only book about The Wrekin, like ever!
Join George for a walk up and around The Wrekin, learn all the important landmarks and all the historical aspects of The Wrekin.
BTW: A fern ticket is the mythical permit to adventure on The Wrekin or in its magical forest. Couples spotted leaving a dance at the Forest Glen were asked. "Have you got your fern ticket?"
Recipes taught to the pupils of Wrekin Road School in 1904 with Emmie Teece's memories of the Wellington area in the years before World War One.
£2.99 All proceeds to the Wrekin Appeal
Available from : Langlands Records, Wellington; Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury
Official launch for Wrekin Friends
Good news from the Lottery
Update from Pete Lambert
Current status: The sale of The Wrekin has probably been put off indefinitely, though it is 'unlikely' that anyone other than a public body would dare buy it due to the restrictions and other headaches.
SWT have bought and cleaned up the Forest Glen site and the Ercall. They have employed a project officer, Pete Lambert, for the Ercall (and Wrekin).
Latest news: The Shropshire Wildlife Trust, The Shropshire Hills AONB, Telford Council and ourselves, The Wrekin Friends, are to form The Wrekin Forest Partnership, largely run by and from The Shropshire Hills AONB. It's a body formed with the sole purpose of raising money for The Hill, but for what purpose? Seemingly, WFP will be to promote The Wrekin to "a new and wider audience."
Are we out of the frying pan, into the fire? Will they make The Hill an inner-city park, taking the wilderness out?
At one of our first Wrekin friends meetings, it seemed that most wanted nothing to happen to The Hill, just the toilets reopened. Now, the council, who could open the toilets want a huge tourist attraction on the site of the Forest Glen, "to attract the 2012 tourists who visit Much Wenlock, the birthplace of the modern Olympics." Will it be a white elephant, going bust after a year?
The latest wheeze is to build on the donkey field and increase car parking. Behind our backs, as we have remained silent, the very character of the hill is changing. (Over £35k has been wasted on a fool's errand.)
New here?Please, join up. Tell us what you want, what you don't. We'll email you when something big, important, or whatever happens. (If you want our bulletins.)
No one wants to see unnecessary yellow lines blotting our towns and villages when there is an alternative. They are a clear eyesore that can be intrusive and can have a huge impact on the look and feel of our streets, particularly in historic town centres or conservation areas.
I encourage local authorities to think about the use of restricted parking zones. They can be used to improve the visual impact of the street while providing clear information to motorists."
Transport Secretary says!
Steve says... What's the bloody point? There are very few traffic wardens in Telford & Wrekin anyway. Witness the double yellows on Ironbridge Wharf, for the past year traffic has been piling up there due to people parking outside the shops there. I know, I go regularly and have seen the change. Witness the new double yellows outside Wellington's NatWest near the railway station. People park all day on them with no penalty.
Not to mention the unintended consequences of parking on all the other sections without double yellows.
Go see your MP!
"I was sitting below the Cuckoo's Cup and saw these two rocks, with a shape like a V in between them. I thought that perhaps something might happen on the equinox, and went there then."I watched carefully at midday and then at 10 past 12 - because we are west of Greenwich - a shaft of light came through the rocks, and rested on another rock, moved slowly for about 10 minutes, and disappeared," George said.
The Wrekin was once inhabited - there is a hill fort on the top - and George thinks that this "Calendar Stone", as he has dubbed it, would have provided invaluable information to the inhabitants.
Halfway House, which as its name suggests sits more or less halfway up the main track to the top, has been a favourite haunt of Wrekin walkers for more than 150 years.
But Mr Bolger, who is 67, said he and his wife were getting too old to continue living there and were moving to Ireland."
Walking around the Wrekin I have noticed that they are regularly logging. I was wondering how much logging do they do, how much of the Wrekin do they log, and what the purpose of it is? What is the wood used for. I ask because it is a sicking sight to see, a real eye sore.
AFAIK It's the business that's kept that side of The Wrekin looking so good for decades and generations. They've been chopping and planting and thinning and growing forever. They're good managers. I've no quibble over that. However, I feel you pain man. It's distressing to see culled trees, mashed up ground. This is just our modern TV culture brains getting nature wrong. These foresters have made the 'dark side' an amazingly diverse diamond which glitters in hundreds of hidden spots. The make things in their wood shop a few miles away. They also sell it as firewood. It's sustainable, they live by the law and I believe firewood is a good thing: it's expensive and and renewable. They own most of the woods at the back of The Wrekin in the same family for -- since forever.
Further to previous email - I sent you the wrong web link.
From: Jenny Lunn Sent: 17 April 2013 12:19 To: 'email@example.com' Subject: New Discovering Britain walk around The Wrekin
I am writing to let you know that the Royal Geographical Society has just launched a new walk in Shropshire as part of its "Discovering Britain" series.
The 8 mile walk is a circuit of The Wrekin and surrounding area tells the story of your wonderful little mountain including its geological diversity, prehistoric features and human activities over the centuries. The walk was created by George Evans with a little help from his son Paul.
It is a self-guided walk presented in both audio format (with commentary by George and Paul) and written format. Both can be downloaded for free from the Discovering Britain website: http://www.discoveringbritain.org/walks/region/scotland/kilmahew.html
Our walks encourage people to explore and understand Britain's diverse local landscapes. As Michael Palin says of our walks: "some of the world's most varied, spectacular and accessible landscape is only a strong pair of boots away".
I was wondering whether you would be willing to help us to promote this walk via the All Friends Round the Wrekin website, perhaps by putting an item in the new section and/or listing it with the other walk routes on your site. Would you also consider putting something on Facebook or Twitter? I have also attached an e-flyer which can be circulated.
If you would like any more information about our Wrekin walk or the Discovering Britain project please email me.
With thanks and best wishes,
Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon. Kind Regards Gurvinder Sidhu Media Officer - Oxfam GB
- Time limit
- Landscaping scheme
- Tree survey
- Landscape Management
- Landscape Maintenance Plan
- Trees No Dig Method
- No works to mature Oak tree until survey undertaken to establish whether bat roost
- Method of surface water management
- Details of management of site and catering van to be submitted
- Visibility splays
- Development in accordance with plans
- Tree safety work
- All mitigation and enhancement measures of ecology survey to be implemented
I still think it a dumb idea.
Painting yellow lines everywhere to make it better for horse and traps?
Getting a burger van back at 9pm to let some late walker's car out?
Leaving it open late at night for the dreaded sex doggers? The donkey field would be a perfect spot for the 'unsociable activity.' With trees planted to separate bays making it discrete, but with a good view for spotting police cars. From a quick Google search, the Ercall is already well known.
Sheila Hutchison will be representing Little Wenlock Parish Council objecting (again!) to the plans.
Wish us luck
This would cost very little, would cause little disruption and would retain the Donkey Field as it is."
Cheers Richard P.
I will be visiting Shropshire area this June to visit family. My grandmother was from Albrighton (Nr. Wolverhampton) and Grandfather from Church Stretton Area. Wrekin represents to me the centre of their lives.
I will be staying with family in Shrewsbury until Thursday AM whereupon I planned to explore the area on my own. Realizing that Thursday is the Summer Solstice, I wonder if you are aware of any Solstice events on the the Wrekin?
Thank you for your attention to my request and for having a "Friends of the Wrekin" organization.
Telford & Wrekin Council
18 April 2012
Planning application: TWC/2012/0261
I would like to raise the following points in objection to Planning Application TWC/2012/0261 Donkey Field Community Project. More information than is available in the covering letter for the application and the Design and Access Statement needs to be obtained before the proposed development is approved.
1. I first should state that I have an interest in the outcome of the application as I am a homeowner from whose property the Donkey Field is clearly visible. I also am a frequent user of Wrekin Course and the Little Wenlock road both as a driver and a walker.
2. The planned access is NOT safe. Cars using the specified exit point will not be able to see traffic coming from the west because the road bends just to the west of the exit. They also will not be able to see traffic approaching the brow of the hill from the east. Cars using the specified entrance will not be able to see traffic coming from the west because of the bend and brow of the hill to the west of the entrance point. I can say that this is the case as I have been using this stretch of Wrekin Course for over 32 years. The application should not be approved before traffic safety officers have been consulted about the siting of the entrance and exit points.
3. The assertion in the Statement that Wrekin Course “is straight” is misleading. It is a straight road along the base of the Wrekin UNTIL it reaches the bend just to the west of the proposed entrance and exit from the car park. It is only if one ignores that bend (and the rise in the road to the east of the exit point) that it can be said the road “provides good sight lines” at the proposed access points.
4. It is incorrect to say, as the Statement asserts, that Wrekin Course “carries little traffic”. Again, from the vantage point of our house, I have observed for over thirty years that Wrekin Course is a road which receives a lot of use. The use of the road also has steadily increased over the years. A full, formal, survey of traffic on Wrekin Course should be carried out before the application is decided on.
5. It also should be noted that Wrekin Course is not a wide road. Because of the poor condition of the road and verges it is often necessary for one car to pull over so that another car coming from the opposite direction can pass. This is especially the case at the western approach to the bend where the forest comes down to the road, which is close to the proposed exit from the car park; and at the brow of the rise which is near the proposed entrance to the car park. Any increase in traffic on Wrekin Course would not be recommended. Again: a full formal traffic survey needs to be carried out before a decision is made on the application,
6. The Statement says that “it is intended” that responsibility for locking the entrance and exit gates will be assumed by the operator of the catering van. It is not clear what that will mean in practice. Presumably the car park gates will only be unlocked at times when the catering van is manned. What provision has been made for the hours of operation of the catering van? Will those hours accommodate people who wish to use the car park early in the morning or in the late afternoon/evening. Will the catering van operate daily on a year round basis? The application should not be decided on without that information.
7. No provision for dealing with the litter and other forms of waste inevitably arising from on-site catering and the provision of picnic facilities is mentioned in the Statement. What guarantees are there that the operator of the catering van will responsibly deal with litter and waste? If no firm provision is made there is a risk that an eyesore will be created.
8. There is no mention of sanitation facilities in the Statement. The application covering letter refers in its 2nd paragraph to “the possible provision of allotment gardens for local residents and the provision of toilets serviced by the catering providers”. This wording does not amount to a commitment to providing either allotments or toilets.
9. If there is catering planned, should there not also be a definite commitment to the provision of sanitation facilities from the beginning of the site's operation? Is there any legal/planning requirement that such facilities have to accompany the provision of a fixed catering site? How will the cost of keeping the site clean and sanitary be met if there is to be free parking? It is unrealistic to assert that 'volunteers' will be responsible for the long-term ongoing work of cleaning the site as frequently and thoroughly as will be necessary. The application should not be approved until there is a detailed statement of how the recurrent costs of keeping the site clean and sanitary has been received from the applicant.
10.If sanitation facilities are provided what arrangement will be made to protect those facilities from the sort of vandalism and misuse that eventually led to the demolition of the toilets sited at the entrance to the main path up the Wrekin? Approval should not be granted until details are given as to how the recurrent cost of maintaining the site's security will be met.
11.At various points in the Statement, the catering facility is referred to as the “cafe”. Does this imply that there will be development of the catering from a 'mobile' van to a building?
12.All of these points about the proposed catering operation should be clarified before approval is given to the application.
13.The Statement says the car park would be “free to use”. It is stated that the owner of the field has agreed to a 3-year rent free period for use of the land. After that a “market rate” rent will be required for its use. As the application covering letter says, this is a generous offer to the community. However, what funding arrangements are in place to continue free use of the car park after 3 years? Or will it become a fee payable car park from that point on in order to meet the cost of rent and other recurrent costs? In the light of proposals in the Statement that “means of discouraging roadside parking employed such as 'no parking' notices” will be required – indicating that people will be forced into using the car park - no approval of the application should be given without clarification of what means, other than charging users for parking , will be used to secure the payment of the rent and recurrent costs required from year 4 onward of the car park's operation.
14.If roadside parking is to be made unlawful, a question of enforcement arises. Have the local police been consulted about the proposal to ban parking on the roadside, particularly in respect of how extensive the ban would be?
Traffic and visitor numbers
15.The underlying assumption in the application is that most visitors to the Wrekin will continue to make their way there by car. This runs counter to the increasing attraction of providing some form of public transport from Wellington (where there is plenty of parking) to the Wrekin. Providing public transport of some sort has both an ecological and environmental rationale. If it was possible to do this in the 19th and early 20th century it should not be beyond devising in the 21st century.
16.There also is an assumption in the application that there is a constant 'overflow' of parked cars from the existing parking at the former Forest Glen site and on the roadside alongside the reservoir. I have been told by people who regularly use both these existing parking areas that it is not the case that they are insufficient to meet the demand for parking at most times. It is at weekends and on bank holidays – provided the weather is fine – that the existing formal and informal parking facilities come under pressure. It surely makes more sense to improve the existing roadside and Forest Glen parking rather than to create a completely new parking area.
17.The Statement refers to one purpose of the application being “replacing the unsafe and visually intrusive roadside parking with attractive off-road parking”. It is worth noting that there have been no recorded incidents of injury to people walking along the roadside toward or from the main path. In fact there are no recorded vehicular accidents between cars parking on or leaving the roadside and cars making their way up or down the Little Wenlock road or Wrekin Course.
18.It is clearly the case that if the roadside parking were supplemented by a designated pedestrian way beside the road, the likelihood of an accident would decrease. It also would be a major improvement to the use of roadside parking if it were clearly signed before entering the area where such parking occurs that drivers should be alert to cars or pedestrians coming into the road. The fixing of a low speed limit for the approaches to the Wrekin would also help to prevent accidents.. All of these of these measures could be carried out without the need for the Donkey Field development.
19.An underlying but unspoken idea in the application seems to be as much to attract more visitors to the Wrekin as to make parking easier for the present visitor load. That will generate more traffic on the already congested Little Wenlock Road and certainly will add to the traffic on Wrekin Course. In fact it may be the case that the provision of 40 additional off road parking spaces will prove to be inadequate to remove all of the roadside parking, putting those who do park on the roadside, rather than giving up their plan to visit the Wrekin, at risk of a fine for doing so. Since this situation is most likely to arise at weekends and on bank holidays, the police view about enforcing a roadside parking ban (and how extensive such a ban should be) seems to be an essential element of the basket of factors to be weighed for and against the proposal.
20.There is long-standing concern about the impact of increasing numbers of visitors on the Wrekin. Increased numbers may have an impact on the whole of the ecology of the Wrekin. Any degradation of the flora and fauna associated with the Wrekin would be a serious loss to its standing as an ANOB. The environmental survey carried out for the applicant is careful to note in its conclusion that, within the “limitations” of this survey there would be no direct risk to designated habitats or to protected and valued species from the proposed work on the site “provided that care is taken to avoid risks to roosting bats and disturbance of badgers, hedgehogs, nesting birds, reptiles and common amphibians. Any work to the over mature tree that is in the site will need careful planning to avoid risks to bats and birds. Work to hedgerows will also need careful planning and management to avoid impacts on nesting birds.” (my emphasis). Any approval of the application should be delayed until specific commitments about the way the works on the site will be carried out have been provided and are seen to satisfy the concern expressed in the above quotation.
21.The promotion of Wellington as one of the national “Walkers are Welcome” destinations would not be assisted by making more provision for visitors who arrive at the Wrekin without any contact with Wellington other than driving through it. This would be to the disadvantage of those merchants who presently or might in future obtain trade from visitors who use Wellington as the base for setting out to visit the Wrekin. Has any effort been made to appraise the opinion of Wellington merchants about the proposed development?
22.One of the proposals in the application is that some part of the Donkey Field could be developed as a site for allotments. If this were the case, what reduction in the use of the 40 parking places provided as an alternative to roadside parking for people walking on the Wrekin would occur? Would this be seen as an opening to increase the number of parking places on the Field? If it is not seen as realistic to expect walkers to come out from Wellington by foot to use the Wrekin how realistic is it to assume that “local resident” allotment gardeners would do so? Is there any evidence of demand for allotments which would support the idea of creating them on the Donkey Field?
23.The Statement refers to the possible extension of car parking onto “overflow space” if the 40 spaces initially provided are regularly not enough. Given that the present planned use amounts to only 16% of the area of the Donkey Field it is possible to envisage the development of a very large car park on the Field. It would be inappropriate for approval to be given to this application without some strong provision in that approval requiring, further detailed enquiry into the existing usage and cost/benefit of the 40 space car park, before any extension of the parking area would be approved.
24.It is certainly misleading to say that a car park on the Donkey Field would be less visually intrusive than the present roadside parking. The Donkey Field can be seen clearly as one approaches the Wrekin from Wellington or the M54 up the Little Wenlock road. In fact almost the first view of the Wrekin along the Little Wenlock road is of the Donkey Field. Is a car park for 40 cars (or its extension later on) the first thing visitors to the Wrekin should be confronted with?
25.The visual aspect of the roadside parking also could be improved if the area being used for parking were re-surfaced and marked out to provide more formal parking spaces. The present ad hoc use of the roadside for parking could be reduced without the need to create a new space in the Donkey Field.
26. In the covering letter for the application it is stated that this is a “community (volunteer) led project”. Community involvement in the care and maintenance of the Wrekin, which is, after all, the most important physical amenity in East Shropshire, is to be welcomed, as is the support of the Huntington Lane Mining Community Trust. However, as is the case here, where there are proposals which involve recurrent cash costs, it is essential that the means of defraying those costs that are not likely to be met by 'volunteer' work over the mid-to-long term are spelled out.
I hope that the points raised above will be helpful to you in reaching your decision to approve the application as it stands or not. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to have clarification of any of the points made.
Wrekin Forest for All
AGREED – that a bid for £85,000 to the Huntington Lane Community for funding to complete the work on the Donkey Field, the Car Parking and the Catering would be submitted.
It was suggested that the work be timetabled to coincide with the Council’s traffic calming works.