Shropshire Hills Maps

This is a distinctive area of the Anglo-Welsh borders where remote upland merges into pastoral lowland. The AONB's parallel hills and valleys run southwest, northeast with the strike of the rocks forming the Long Mynd and Stiperstones, Clun Forest, the Clee Hills, Stretton Hills and The Wrekin, five distinctive upland areas each with their own landscape character.


The steep-sided rift valley of Church Stretton lies at the centre of the AONB and from its fertile farmed floor looms the great pre-Cambrian moorland ridge of the Long Mynd. The unmistakable peak of the Wrekin is a volcanic outlier and the lonely sandstone Clee Hills owe their rounded mass to a basalt cap. In contrast, the limestone outcrop of Wenlock Edge has an altogether softer, wooded character.
 
Areas of the AONB's open common are important upland habitat, including the heather moorland of the Stiperstones Ridge, a National Nature Reserve. In the southwest of the AONB, the smooth, rounded hills and high plateau of the Clun Forest have been designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) to protect the small hedged fields, oak woods and pastures of the traditionally farmed landscape. The uplands of the Stiperstones, Long Mynd, Stretton Hills and Clee Hills have also been designated an ESA to protect the upland character of the area.
 
Agriculture is a major employer and the hills and dales of south Shropshire are traditional sheep and beef farming country with cereals and dairying in favoured areas. The AONB, with a population of approximately 37,500, has no large towns but contains many rural villages and hamlets and the country market centres of Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Clun. On its northern borders, the economic growth of Shrewsbury and Telford has major development and leisure use implications for the AONB.
 
The Shropshire Hills are an important recreational area for the towns of the Welsh border, and for visitors from the West Midlands, and the ridge footpaths are traditionally popular walking country.   

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