New Plan to be adopted to protect and enhance The Wrekin Hills
Telford & Wrekin Council is set to approve the adoption of a new management plan for The Wrekin Forest as part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
This is part of the council’s commitment to protect, enhance and extend the network of green spaces which characterise the borough.
It is estimated that up to 120,000 people visit The Wrekin every a year. This massive popularity reflects its attraction for those leading healthy lifestyles, providing the facilities and the environment for all ages to enjoy.
Local authorities with an area of outstanding natural beauty in their boundary have a statutory requirement to produce such a plan.
The council’s cabinet is expected to approve a plan to cover up until 2024 when it meets on July 11.
The Shropshire Hills AONB includes the Wrekin, the Ercall and surrounding woodland – often referred to as the Wrekin Forest.
This is an area which forms significant links between Telford’s urban green network to the north and the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site to the east and is an integral part of Telford’s green infrastructure.
The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership was established as a joint advisory committee to both Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council with both officer and member representation.
The partnership has led the update of the Management Plan including consultation with the public and a wide range of partner organisations.
The updated plan includes a revised terms of reference which reflect the need to ensure an effective management structure.
Councillor Hilda Rhodes, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Parks, Green Spaces and the Natural Environment, said: “The Wrekin Hills is a fundamental element of the Borough’s environment providing a beautiful landscape and open spaces for everyone to enjoy.
“This Management Plan recognises the challenge of managing patterns of access to ensure the landscape remains resilient as well as continues to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
“Opportunities exist to better celebrate the outstanding natural importance of the Wrekin as an AONB including creating a stronger story and ways to celebrate how and why The Wrekin and its heritage is globally important.
“It is clear that any initiatives would bring with them major benefits of civic pride and a stronger sense of community both within the borough and across the wider Shropshire Hills AONB.”