The acquisition of the 28.8ha of woodland is seen as the fundamental first step to secure the preservation of the woodland and what it contains. Some enhancement of the resource is planned within this first phase. This will be limited to an improvement of access to the site and where necessary signage and possible limited protection fencing. However, no major works will be undertaken in advance of a full evaluation and detailed management plan, which will be undertaken post aquisition.
The east access right of way will be cleared and surfaced as will the existing gated car parking area at its south-west end SO5968,7377. Initial approaches have been made to the Hanson Quarry and Clee Hill Plant for assistance in the surfacing of the access and car park, both organisations are supportive
The aim at this stage is to continue the already in place public access by way of signed footpaths, this existing footpath network can be seen in figure 3. these are already served by pedestrian stiles and clear signs.
A full risk assessment will be carried out over the extent of the site and any necessary remedial work undertaken. The aim at this stage is to secure the site from a health and safety perspective in support of the existing user base.
The Novers has by kind permission of the owner had limited public access over the last 12 years, these users have included:
These groups have been drawn to the site principally by the surviving structures relating to the lime industry, with visits focused on the kilns and drift mine. In essence this represents perhaps only some 10% of the resource. They do however demonstrate that there is an existing audience for the Novers.
Through 2006 a series of guided walks were undertaken around the archaeological and natural historical sites of Titterstone Clee, under the joint organisation of the Shropshire Hills AONB and The Titterstone Clee Heritage Trust. These were well attended with considerable enthusiasm from both local and more distant visitors, some travelling from as far afield as Wolverhampton. This programme was continued through the winter by TCHT with a series of talks and lectures, which were equally well supported and reported in the local press. There is a genuine desire in the Clee Hill communities for the preservation of the Novers and a growing pride of place in the history of the hill as a whole.
Within the limited first phase these groups will continue to be supported and will be encouraged to take a wider perspective of the whole site guided by some initial interpretation and presentation of the site. Possible on site information boards, simple guide maps or a small booklet based on the material in this conservation statement.
This limited presentation will be further advanced by the full assessment of the site the completion of a full investigation and conservation plan will allow more detailed interpretation of the cultural and natural history elements of the full site.
The initial phase is deliberately maintained at a low level of expectation to minimise the early running costs of the site, Work on site will be carried out on a volunteer basis. Key volunteers will be supported to undertake necessary woodland conservation and management training through courses offered by the Small Woodlands Association. It anticipated that some £4000 will be required annually to maintain the Novers at this level. This will be initially sourced from a combination of
There is considerable potential for the latter, possible charcoal burning, limestone processing, workshops on the use of lime mortar, coppice product workshops. wildlife watch events.
The such event is planned as a joint TCHT, AONB event for Saturday 20th of October 2007 with a fete, pig roast, woodland crafts and falconry display at the nearby Mahoral Farm cider farm. Visitors will be offered guided trips around the principal Novers sites.