Shropshire Hills AONB
|Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty|
Map of Shropshire, with the Shropshire Hills AONB in green.
|Districts||Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin|
|Settlements||Church Stretton, Clun|
|Area||802 km2 (310 sq mi)|
|Highest point||Brown Clee Hill|
|- elevation||540 m (1,772 ft)|
|Managed by||Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership|
|- location||Craven Arms|
|Website : www.shropshirehillssaonb.co.uk|
The Shropshire Hills area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), in the English county of Shropshire. It is located in the south of the county, extending up to its border with Wales. Designated in 1958, the area encompasses 802 square kilometres (310 sq mi) of land primarily in south-west Shropshire, taking its name from the upland region of the Shropshire Hills. The A49 road and Welsh Marches Railway Line bisects the area north-south, passing through or near Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Ludlow.
The Shropshire Hills, located in the Welsh Marches, are relatively high, with the highest point in the county, Brown Clee Hill, near Ludlow, towering to a height of 540 metres (1,772 ft). This gives Shropshire the 13th tallest hill per county in England. Titterstone Clee Hill, part of the Clee Hills, is of a similar height to Brown Clee, at 533 metres (1,749 ft), making it the third largest hill. The Stiperstones are the second largest in the county, at 536 metres (1,759 ft), and are notable for their tors of quartzite; particularly notable are Devil's Chair ( ) and Shepherd's Rock ( ).
More accessible hills are the Long Mynd, which covers an area of 5,436 acres (8½ square miles) and peaking at Pole Bank at a height of 516 metres (1,693 feet), is located near Church Stretton. It contains Carding Mill Valley, a popular recreational area which was developed as a honeypot to draw tourists away from the more sensitive/protected areas of the Mynd. The Wrekin (407 metres (1,335 ft)), located in the far northeastern panhandle of the AONB, is an extremely popular hill with a well-used trail. Located near to Wellington, its position close to the major population centres of Shropshire, and good transport links (A5/M54) make it easy to access. Ercall Hill, a notable geological site, is located just to the north of The Wrekin.
Towns & Villages
Development has shifted south to Craven Arms, which is located just outside the development restriction boundaries, and is where the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership is based.
Ludlow, the largest town in South Shropshire, lies just south of the AONB.
Knighton, which is mainly in Wales, has a railway station situated and a small part of its housing in the Shropshire Hills AONB.
- River Clun – starting at Anchor, ends up joining the Teme
- Cound Brook – Rises from minor watercourses running off the Long Mynd and Caer Caradoc before discharging into the River Severn
- River Teme – flows through Knighton down to Bucknell then Ludlow, before passing into Herefordshire
- River Rea – flows north to south, passes through Cleobury Mortimer
Clun Castle is located near Clun.
- Peregrine falcon
- Ring ouzel
- Tree sparrow
- Pied flycatcher
- Barn owl
- Red fox
- Red grouse
- Turtle dove
- Common snipe
- Northern lapwing
- Common redshank
- Clun Forest – remote area of woodland and hills
- Wyre Forest – large woodland, half of which is in Shropshire, the other half in Worcestershire