Farmed Landscape & Woodland

Farmed Landscape

The patchwork of fields, mostly pasture bounded by hedges, results from generations of farming. Hedgerow and field trees, including many veteran trees, give the landscape a maturity. Remnants of valuable grassland and hay meadow habitats survive. Some small scale arable cultivation mostly for feed crops is found, with larger scale cropping in the valleys which extend down outside the AONB.

baling above the Redlake Valley by Sarah Jameson

Woodland

Coverage in the AONB of all woodland (16.8%) and of ancient semi-natural woodland (2.7%) is above the UK average. 

The area has higher than the national average cover of ancient and semi-natural woodland, Broadleaved woodland is found mostly on steeper ground, such as the Wrekin and Helmeth above Church Stretton, and is often fragmented and in small blocks.  Wenlock Edge, however, has continuous woodland for nearly twenty miles.

Riparian woodland, typically composed of Alder and Willow is extensive in length along river valleys, but often very restricted in width, typically confined to a single row of trees along the river bank. Mixed and coniferous woodlands are more extensive and in larger blocks than semi-natural woodland, and are an important biodiversity resource.

There are many small woodlands, along with larger predominantly conifer plantations many of which are being diversified, parkland and wood pasture, and many small, often remnant, orchards.