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Monday, September 20, 2021

Nature conservation area created at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is encouraging new and existing species of wildlife to thrive after creating wildlife habitats around the site.

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. Newly planted trees in the Railway Triangle Car Park. Photo: Historic England
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. Newly planted trees in the Railway Triangle Car Park. Photo: Historic England

Newly planted trees have come alive along both the northern boundary of the site and within the triangle of land between the railway and the mill. A nature conservation area is also thriving and was full of brightly coloured poppies this summer.

Over 30 new trees were planted by site owners, Historic England, as part of the landscaping for the Railway Triangle, as well as green shrubs along the boundary between the houses and the path that borders the Flaxmill Maltings and connects it to Greenfields and Herongate.

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Nick Hill, National Conservation Projects Manager, Historic England said:

“We were delighted to receive funding from Shropshire Wildlife Trust via its EU funded Freshwater First Programme to create wildlife habitats around the Flaxmill Maltings site. Now more than ever we need to create spaces where wildlife can thrive. The trees will form a green backdrop to an improved pedestrian and cycle path and provide a habitat for birds and insects, including bees and butterflies.”

Pete Lambert, Programme Manager, Shropshire Wildlife Trust said:

“Shropshire Wildlife Trust is excited to be part of the important and exciting regeneration of the Flaxmill Maltings and to support the creation of wildlife habitats where a diverse number of species can thrive.”

In addition to the trees being planted as part of the landscaping of the car park, a woodland belt of over 20 native trees has been planted along the whole of the boundary in the area north of the historic Apprentice House. This will create extra green around the site, as well as giving the neighbouring properties more privacy as the site develops.

Historic England has also created a nature conservation area at the back of the site near the railway bridge. This area is for wildflowers to grow, and to encourage butterflies, moths and other wildlife.

Bat House

A timber-clad building has been created for the Flaxmill Maltings bats to move into and roost in. The bat house has two habitats; one simulates an attic and the other has cellar-like conditions to make the bats feel at home. There are four roosting bat species on site: the rare Lesser Horseshoe, the Common Pipistrelle, the Soprano Pipistrelle and the Brown Long-eared bat.

Dr Nick Steggall, Associate Director, Middlemarch Environmental Ltd. said:

“Historic England is committed to sustainably restoring the unique historic buildings at the Flaxmill Maltings. It is great to see their passion for protecting the existing ecology and creating nature habitats, which ensures that the wildlife that has made the Flaxmill Maltings home over the years is able to remain in areas where they can thrive.”

The bat house was part-funded by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government.

There will also be a landscaped green corridor for tenants and visitors to enjoy once the site is open, this will be approximately 10 metres wide and around 220 metres long. It will run along the line of the former Shrewsbury and Newport Canal to preserve this area in perpetuity. 

For more information about the restoration see HistoricEngland.org.uk/SFM.

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