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AONB: Shropshire Hills

River Clun Recovery Project

Through the River Clun Recovery Project, the AONB team have created two Freshwater Pearl Mussel Recovery Sites, created or restored 17.7 km of riparian woodland and habitat and planted over 13,000 riparian trees. 

The River Clun is one of only three rivers in England designated as a European Special Area of Conservation for Freshwater Pearl Mussel, but the population here has experienced a dramatic decline in recent decades. 

The project worked with landowners and volunteers to reduce pressures at the riverbank by creating riparian buffer strips, provide controlled livestock watering, and to undertake planting of riverbank trees and runoff management measures. The pearl mussel itself requires very high standards of habitat and water quality, but the project’s work benefits many other water and land species associated with our very special river environment.

Activity included:

  • 2 Freshwater Pearl Mussel Recovery Sites created
  • 17.7 km of riparian woodland / habitat restored or created
  • 16 sections of eroding riverbank protected by environmentally friendly soft engineering works, totalling 221m
  • 13,300 trees and shrubs planted by groups of volunteers and local contractors
  • 17 sustainable livestock watering systems installed
  • 3,080 hours of volunteer involvement contributed, valued at £44,000
  • £257,800 spent locally, using local contractors and suppliers
  • 39 farm businesses supported, 11 local contractors, and 22 suppliers, of which 80% are local businesses

This was a partnership project between the AONB Partnership, landowners, Environment Agency, Woodland Trust and Natural England.