Eaton Manor Dark Skies

On  Saturday 6th July 2019 the Shropshire Astronomical Society are organising an Eaton Manor Dark Skies event. The event starts at 3pm and there is an entry fee of £2.

Eaton Manor Dark Skies will have Space related activities including Meteor, Solar and Stellar observing. There will be a Telescope clinic, so don’t forget to bring along your telescope, Planetarium tours of the night sky and presentations and talks.

Eaton Manor has some of the Darkest Skies in South Shropshire so is perfect for this event. It is at Eaton under Heywood along the northern edge Wenlock Edge not far from Church Stretton.

This Eaton Manor Dark Skies event is open to all who have enquiring minds, young and older. There are facilities for the disabled.

For more information contact: john@eatonmanor.co.uk and www.eatonmanor.co.uk/location/ for direction.

 

Dark Skies Discovery Sites Church Stretton

A Dark Skies Discovery Site is a place where the Milky Way (not the chocolate bar) is visible in the night sky with the naked eye. There are four Dark Skies Discovery Sites across the Long Mynd, Church Stretton.

The Milky Way over the Swiss Alps

These locations need to be accessible to the public and have a good clear view of the sky to be accepted as a Dark Skies Discovery Site.

There are degrees of classification, Milky Way Class being the highest. The degree of darkness determines the classification.

The four sites at Church Stretton are at Carding Mill Valley, Cross Dyke Car Park at Boiling Well, Pole Cottage and Shooting Box Car Parks, and are shown on the map below.

An OpenStreetMap of Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Long Mynd, Church Stretton

OpenStreetMap of Dark Skies Discovery Sites

Star in Your Skies organises events on Long Mynd supported by Shropshire Astronomical Society.

Events are often arranged at short notice by local enthusiasts and of course weather-dependent.

Stars In Your Skies Walk 20th June 2019, starting at 10pm in Carding Mill Valley. It is a two hour stroll around Carding Mill Valley and the foothills of the Long Mynd. Lots of facts figures and stories to keep you entertained. £6 guided walk. www.churchstrettonwalkingfestival.co.uk

Solstice Sleepout organised by the National Trust , look at events for Carding Mill Valley, on the 20th and 21st June 2019. See Sunset and Sunrise under the stars. Booking is essential £20. Bring warm clothing and a small tent. Meeting at 10p.m. place to be arranged.

I am certainly thinking of doing the walk.

The image at the top of this post shows the night sky during the lunar eclipse over the Swiss Alps. Along with the eclipsed moon, visible in the photo are Mars below the moon, Saturn in the middle, and Jupiter to the right. The Milky Way arises above them all, shining through wispy high clouds. Numerous satellites and aircraft make it a happening Friday evening in the sky. The image is from Wikimedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Wikimedia article on Church Stretton notes that the town was once nicknamed “Little Switzerland”.

Knitting and Crafting

Three balls of wool on a wooden chair

In recent months we have had several customers who have come with their knitting or crafting projects.

I am a knitter and crocheter myself and thought it would be good to share some of my favourite Wool Shops.

There are two wool shops in Church Stretton:

  • Yarn in the Hills at 2 Burway Road, SY6 6DL which has a wide selection of yarns, books and sundries
  • There is also Coco Alpacas at 9 High Street. They have a lovely range of gifts, specialist yarns, and accessories

The image at the top of this blog post is courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

The image below is courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Ribbons on Cotton Reels

Long Mynd

Bodbury Hill From The Burway on Long Mynd

Bodbury Hill from The Burway on Long Mynd

The Long Mynd is the back drop to Church Stretton, seven miles north of Craven Arms.

The Long Mynd is approximately 7 miles long by 3 miles wide. The highest point is Pole Bank at 516 metres (1,693 feet) above sea level. It is classed as a Marilyn.

Much of the Long Mynd is owned and managed by the National Trust and falls within the designation of the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

The National Trust have a Visitor Centre in Carding Mill Valley which has a an exhibition and a tearoom. Many activities are put on over the year.

There are many indications of ancient human activity on Long Mynd.

The Portway runs the length of the Long Mynd. It is a Drovers Route which is thought to have linked up with the Kerry Ridgeway.

There are twenty tumuli, of which one had a Shooting Box on it until 1992 and to this day is called the Shooting Box Barrow.

There are also three dykes, Bannister Plain Cross Ridge Dyke, High Park Cross Ridge Dyke and Devils Mouth Cross Ridge Dyke. They separated areas of moorland and are thought to be 1,500 years old, unfortunately in some places they have been damaged in more modern times.

Bodbury Ring is a small Hill Fort. It sits above Carding Mill Valley and looks over to Caer Carodoc and Lawley both of which have hill forts at the top of them.

As you can see there is lots of human activity to look at but also lots of wildlife to observe as well. There are lots of walks up to the plateau of Long Mynd and from the car parks up on the Mynd.

Flounders Folly – Opening Dates Autumn 2016

We named our holiday let “Folly View” because you can see Flounders Folly from your self-catering accommodation.

Flounder’s Folly is a well-known a local monument (or folly) in South Shropshire which can be seen for miles in this area – especially from the A49 between Craven Arms and Church Stretton. The folly is a stone tower some 16 feet square and 80 feet high and stands on Callow Hill just north of Craven Arms.

The folly is open to visitors only on certain days of the year and whilst there is no fixed entrance fee you are requested to make a small donation to The Flounders’ Folly Trust to support the maintenance of this landmark.

The remaining opening dates for 2016 are:

Saturday 10th September 13:30 – 16:00

Sunday 11th September 13:30 – 16:00

Sunday 25th September 11:00 – 15:00

Tuesday 25th October 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 27th November 11:00 – 15:00

When the Folly is open a St George’s Flag is flown from the top of the Folly. You can then climb the 78 stone steps to the viewing platform at the top. On a clear day you can expect wonderful views of the Malvern Hills, the Black Mountains, and Cader Idris. A series of illustrations  that run round the viewing platform help you to identify the landmarks you can see in the 306 degree panorama.

You can learn more about Flounders Folly in an earlier blog post.

You can walk from Folly View Let to Flounders Folly (approximately 2 miles) and there are clearly marked trails and footpaths from the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre. You should allow 45 minutes to an hour to reach the Folly and be aware that the climb up Callow Hill is quite steep.

The best place to park for a visit to Flounders’ Folly is at the foot of Callow Hill on the road from Lower Dinchope to Westhope, SO 457854, where you will see a small interpretation board.