4 Oct 2023
Connecting residents and visitors to Ludlow's urban green spaces
On the 4th October representatives from local Ludlow organisations, including Ludlow Library, Hands Together Ludlow, and Friends of Whitcliffe Common, joined us for an evening stroll around the town’s green spaces using the recently republished walk leaflet produced by Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s Ludlow branch and SSCA and designed by local artist Sarah Jameson.
We wound our way around the castle walls, through the gardens, past the sycamore tree, leaves still green, onto the high paths overlooking the Teme and down to the Millenium Green. Over the Dinham Bridge and along the Bread Walk by the river, past the rock layers, waterfall, weirs and salmon run. We walked up the steps to Whitcliffe, following the path to Ludford and over the bridge to Lower Broad Street then up past the Butter Cross to St Laurence’s Church and the Jubilee Garden. There our walk ended as dusk fell.
If you know Ludlow you might consider why this short walk took us nearly 2 hours? That is the purpose of the walk: we took time – time to “stand and stare” and really look for wildlife and to listen to birdsong and to sounds of the river, time to breathe and relax, time to talk, to get to know each other and to swap information and knowledge. We saw mistletoe above the insect hides on the tree by the castle, goosanders diving on the Teme by Dinham Bridge among the mallards, dippers on the rocks by Ludford bridge and a farewell flypast of swans at sunset over the Readers House. We heard blackbirds alarm calling, the chatter of jackdaws and winter song of robins. We admired the linear garden in pots along Lower Broad Street and the flower colours glowing in the lowering light and finally enjoyed the peace of the Jubilee Garden.
Members of the group noted how the walk is an opportunity to discover a different side to Ludlow “Although I’ve lived here all my life and played here as a child, with the group I’m seeing it in a new way “; and to take a step back from a busy life: “It’s been so relaxing after work. I wouldn’t normally have done something like this but it’s helped me destress”; and engage and learn about the natural world: “I love the soothing sound of the river, just being near water”. It also offered us a more engaging way to get to know one another while walking outside, rather than meeting around a table.
The three aims of producing the map and walk were for residents and visitors to discover, observe and enjoy the wildlife in Ludlow town, improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing by connecting to Nature and offer a sustainable tourism option for visitors.
If you or your organisation are interested in the Walk Through Ludlow’s Green Spaces leaflet you can download your own copy as well as an A3 poster of the walk from SSCA’s new website here. Alternatively Ludlow residents can obtain a paper copy free of charge from the Hands Together Ludlow office and visitors can access them from Ludlow Visitor Information Centre (for a small cost).