Long MyndStretton, Shropshire
At the heart of the Shropshire Hills lies the Long Mynd with the rocky outcrops of the Stiperstones to the west. Visually, these two ‘hills’ are very different – the Long Mynd is a large and long plateau, while the rugged outline of the Stiperstones ridge is unmistakable. Together, they make up the largest area of heathland in the Shropshire Hills. Come late summer these hilltops are a sea of purple and not to be missed. Along with the heather a variety of other plants flourish here including bilberry (known locally as whinberry), and this in turn attracts many insects and birds – look out for a green hairstreak butterfly or stonechat on the gorse.
As well as a wealth of wildlife, the area is steeped in history and folklore. Shooting Box is one of sixteen Bronze Age burial mounds found on the Mynd and the 5,000 year old ridge-way, the Portway, once carried Neolithic traders high and dry above the wet and wooded valleys. During the 1870s the Stiperstones area was one of Britain’s main sources of lead. Remains of this once thriving industry are scattered along the western slopes of the Stiperstones. Both Mary Webb and Malcolm Saville set their stories in these hills, and there is many a myth and tall tale to be told.Visit Website