Local Wildlife

Shropshire is a beautiful county with a marvellously diverse landscape. The underlying geology and centuries of farming have shaped the landscape and influenced the assortment of habitats and wildlife.

Across Shropshire you will find the rocky crags of the Stiperstones and the Wrekin, the high moorland plateau and valleys of the Long Mynd as well as ancient woodlands close to Folly View and along the wooded escarpment of Wenlock Edge.

The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty features hilltops and moorlands and some 70% of the AONB is grazing land. Agriculture provides a patchwork of fields, ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows and orchards. Each habitat supports characteristic wild plants and invertebrates as well as a variety of birds and mammals. Notable species include Red Grouse, Skylarks, raptors like Peregrine Falcon and Red Kite and rare mammals including Dormouse, Pine Martens.

Pine Martens which have long been thought to be extinct outside Scotland were found in Shropshire back in 2015. Since then at least 20 individual Pine Martens have been filmed on camera traps and in 2021 young Pine Martens were recorded suggesting there is now a breeding population.

Pine Martens have been found in nine wooded areas of Shropshire and these elusive relatives of weasels and stoats are a great indicator of healthy woodland.

South Shropshire boasts some wonderful unspoilt rivers including the nearby River Onny, River Clun, River Corve and River Teme. Alder commonly line the riverbanks and these reviews are home to important species such as freshwater crayfish and otter.

Just half a mile walk and less than 10 minutes from Folly View and you can be walking through the beautiful Onny Meadows which lie behind the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre. The Onny Meadows are 30 acres of wildlife haven including beautiful water meadows. A range of level surfaced paths provide wheelchair access to the River Onny including “Kingfisher Corner”. As well as the chance to see a Kingfisher you will often see Buzzards and Red Kites here.

Red Kites (Milvus milvus) were common in medieval England but more recently have been persecuted to near extinction. In the 1930s there was just a handful of pairs of Red Kites, all of them in Wales. Now there are an estimated 4,600 breeding pairs across the UK.

A combination of reintroduction programmes and legal protection means that Red Kite are now an everyday sight over Craven Arms and the surrounding area.

At Gigrin Farm, some 37 miles from Folly View, wild Red Kites are fed every day of the year. Depending on the weather and time of year some 300 to 600 Red Kites visit the feeding station and the public are guaranteed breathtaking displays of aerial piracy amongst these magnificent birds.

Shropshire also has a wolf sanctuary – Wolf Watch UK – established in 1993 with the rescue of a pair of wolves from a closing zoo. Set in approximately one hundred acres of a remote Shropshire wooded valley the Wolf Watch Centre is staffed by volunteers and has provided sanctuary for 36 displaced wolves to date.

Folly View is within a short walk of the River Onny and the Onny Meadows – where if you are lucky you can see Otters.

You can find more details of where to watch birds and other wildlife from Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Shropshire Ornithological Society.

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Mrs Merinda Essex

01588 673191

Orchard House
Clun Road
Craven Arms


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