Thursday, 4 June 2020

Keep Shropshire countryside LITTER FREE!

Dear Blogger

Help us Keep Shropshire Tidy and don't litter

Use takaway plastic boxes to pack your picnic - not foil or cling film -                                                                             then take them home to wash and put away for next time.

SHROPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is asking visitors to beauty spots across the county to do their bit to keep our parks and sites clean and tidy.

Our local parks and sites have been a lifeline for many people over the past two months. They have provided a safe, clean and tidy space for people to exercise safely and have been vital for our physical and mental health. This is one of the reasons we are calling on everyone to do their bit.

Wild ponies on the Long Mynd in the Shropshire Hills AONB

With people visiting the Shropshire countryside in greater numbers since the relaxing of lockdown restrictions, we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of litter being left. Not only does this spoil sites for others, it also poses a further health risk to other visitors and our staff and volunteers who are left to clean up after people.

Our staff and key workers across the county and nation have been working tirelessly through the pandemic.

If you are eating or drinking at parks and sites across the county, please do not under any circumstances leave your rubbish where you've been sitting and do not fill the bins with it if they are already full. Please take it home and dispose of it responsibly.

We all want to be able to enjoy places that are clean and litter-free, and this will not be possible if people don't act themselves.


Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council's Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said:

"Our parks and sites have been essential to our residents and local communities during lockdown, and people have grown to really value the precious green spaces we are lucky to have in Shropshire.

"We want to keep our green spaces clean and tidy, primarily for the health and safety of our communities, staff, volunteers and visitors. But we also want to protect the beauty of these places and everyone has a role to play in that.

"If there are no bins with space for litter, please take your rubbish home with you. Nobody wants to see pictures of our beautiful parks and sites laden with litter and plastic pollution.

"We fully appreciate that this has been a difficult time for a lot of people and everyone wants to be able to enjoy Shropshire's Great Outdoors. Thank you for helping us keep Shropshire tidy."

Stay safe when visiting our parks and sites

  • Keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • Although national guidelines now permit you to travel to exercise, we ask that you stay local to avoid large numbers at our sites
  • Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • Try to stay away from busy areas. Go somewhere quieter for your exercise.

The Countryside Code

Respect other people:

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • Leave gates and property as you find them, and follow paths unless wider access is available

Protect the natural environment:

  • Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under effective control

Enjoy the outdoors:

  • Plan ahead and be prepared
  • Follow advice and local signs.

Keep informed and sign up to our daily coronavirus email updates

Shropshire Council wants to keep you as up to date and informed as possible. To help us do this, we have developed a coronavirus update that will be sent daily at 8pm via email to anyone who has signed up to our e-bulletins.

This update includes the day's key Shropshire Council news, and some key news from our partners, relating to coronavirus-linked issues. Please click here to sign up for the updates.

Please do encourage your family and friends to sign up to the updates too. This will help us keep everyone up to date with the rapidly-evolving crisis.

Useful Links

Shropshire's Great Outdoors
Shropshire Council
UK Government

Road Closure 29 June - 3 July Little Ness Road & Church Street

Dear Blogger

Please see attached details of the road closure fron 29th June to 3rd July at Little Ness Road and Church Street

Shropshire`s Great Outdoors

Dear Blogger

I understandsome people could not open the link so lets try again

Now that we are able to go a little further away from home do take a look at this new website from Visit Shropshire

You will find everything about our beautiful county - there must be something for every outdoors person in this list

Archaeology and Built Heritage



Carriage driving

Caves and caving





Heritage and conservation skills

Hot air ballooning


Paragliding and gliding


Water sports

Dear Blogger

Now that we are able to go a little further away from home do take a look at this new website from Visit Shropshire


You will find everything about our beautiful county - there must be something for every outdoors person in this list

Archaeology and Built Heritage



Carriage driving

Caves and caving





Heritage and conservation skills

Hot air ballooning


Paragliding and gliding


Water sports

National Gardens Scheme gardens open from 1st June

Brownhill House Garden - There is always a shady corner for more Heucheras

Message from Allison Walter, Shropshire National Gardens Scheme

National Gardens Scheme open by appointment again from 1st June - but you have to book a day and time on the NGS website.  You can see which gardens are open now by following this link

I will let you know when Brownhill House will be open.

View this email in your browser
National Garden Scheme gardens open again from 1st June
As of the beginning of this week, I'm delighted to say that National Garden Scheme gardens across England have started to open again and we will shortly be opening gardens in Shropshire.

There are strict guidelines, however, for our openings and tickets have to be pre-booked in advance to a designated time-slot, via the NGS website.  We regret that, at the moment, this is the only way we can safely manage visitor numbers in our gardens.  Refreshments will not be available but some gardens will encourage picnics and some may have plants for sale.  Toilet facilities will not be available (unless an emergency).

You can see which gardens are open now by following this link:

Gardens are being put up on the website in date opening order, so please watch the website for Shropshire gardens which we plan will start with Ruthall Manor on Saturday 13th June.  I will confirm this to you once details of the garden are on the booking page of the website.

I know this is not how our gardens usually open but we do hope you will support those gardens that are opening and enjoy them: all monies raised will continue to support our Help Support Our Nurses campaign:

As you may know, HRH Prince Charles is Patron of the National Garden Scheme and he has kindly given us a message of support, which you can see by clicking here: 

Many thanks for your continued support and I hope to see you in a Shropshire garden soon - at a distance of course!

Allison Walter
County Organiser - Shropshire
National Garden Scheme

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Holroyd Community Theatre Virtual Programme

Dear Blogger

Message from the Holroyd Community Theatre at Moreton Hall Schoo, Oswestry.

The Holroyd Community Theatre Leaves a Light On

During this time of darkness for theatres across the country as a result of Covid-19, The 

Holroyd Community Theatre, near Oswestry is providing a light for local community groups to shine, through the launch of its virtual online programme, 'HCTogether'. 

Every Thursday evening at 6pm the Holroyd Community Theatre website will showcase performances in the arts by organisations and individuals from the local communities of Shropshire, Cheshire and the Welsh Borders.

The HCTogether project joins local artists, musicians, writers, drama groups and dance groups to bring performances in a virtual form. The partnership collaboration with community groups includes; Dyffryn Ceiriog Male Voice Choir, Shropshire Music Service, Face2Face Performance Academy, Moreton Hall, North Shropshire Big Sing, North Shropshire Orchestra and Llanymynech Amateur Dramatic Society and many more.    

Carolyn Tilley, Board of Directors for the Holroyd Community Theatre and Leading on the project said, "The first of our Thursday evening performances will introduce three organisations who have made the Holroyd Community Theatre their home; Face2Face Performance Academy, North Shropshire Music and The Creative Arts Programme- North Shropshire Big Sing."

Helen Rayner, Director of the Dyffryn Ceiriog Male Voice Choir added, "HCTogether initiative is a fantastic way to celebrate the work of individual community groups under a creative umbrella reflecting upon the musicianship, talent and expertise within our surrounding areas." 

Throughout the programme audience members will be treated to; a broad spectrum of virtual creativity from 4th and 11th June through to a Welsh inspired evening on 18th June, amateur dramatics on 25th June followed by musical theatre and chamber music.

Alison Stevens, Manager of Shropshire Music Service, added: "Although The Holroyd Theatre is a new venue, recently opened and now closed due to Covid-19, it was clear from the many organisations represented at a recent meeting that it will reach all areas of the community, providing a varied programme with something to interest all ages and interests. It will become a cultural hub, bringing together all aspects of the arts in one place, making it easy for people to access."

For anyone who would like to contribute to the project please contact

Thursday evening performances can be viewed at


For further information please contact:

June newsletter from Willow Gallery, they hope to re-open in mid June

Dear Blogger

June newsletter from Willow Gallery - they hope to re-open in mid June.

If you are unable to read this newsletter, please go to


June 2020

Greetings and best wishes at this time of continuing uncertainty. It is difficult to grasp that at least 40000 people - equivalent to more than twice the population of Oswestry - have died as a result of this virus.

It is clear the return to normality will be drawn-out, but small and mid-size art galleries have been included in the 'non-essential retail' classification that are allowed to re-open (subject to infection rates falling) this month. 

After some essential preparations, we therefore aim to re-open around the middle of June when visitors will be required to follow a one-way system and maintain physical distancing. And while those most vulnerable to the virus will continue to stay at home or take care to minimise contact with others (indeed anyone unsure about the risks should err on the side of caution), 
we'll hope to see you all again before too long.

 Although we plan to reschedule our workshops, we can't offer any dates at the moment - while our live music and Nature Festival will remain on hold for some considerable time to come. Please refer to our website and other social media channels for updates.
Our current exhibition, Painting with Words, opened on 13 March, only 10 days before lockdown commenced on March 23 - and therefore, after we've re-opened, will continue for a further few weeks. This will be followed by our annual Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, when the gallery will be full of gorgeous local crafts for visitors to browse and pick out their favourites.

At the same time we'll continue to present an extensive collection of artworks online as well as items from our shop, and can take telephone orders. And with our Own Art scheme, you can spread the cost over 10 monthly payments with no interest.
Gannets on Great Saltee
A haven for seabirds
Buttercup Meadow
Oil on board
Thanks to all those artists and crafters who responded to our recent Call for Artists and sent us photos and video clips reflecting what they've been up to during lockdown.  It is great for us to come together in this way, so please carry on sending us your clips which are all being presented as a series of virtual open studios on our website. Just a few examples below...

Pat Thatcher shows off her painting skills

Regular visitors to the gallery will be familiar with Pat's unique silver  jewellery. However, during lockdown she has not been making jewellery but painting - and in this video
(CLICK RIGHT) shows a lovely variety of works. 
Small hanging planter with matching decorative beads
Hand-painted landscape-themes vases

Visitors always enjoy seeing Emma's work at the gallery. At her lovely little garden studio in Meifod, Mid-Wales, she designs and makes ceramic pieces as well as painting in a variety of mediums. She also creates characterful pen-and-ink artwork and is a talented portrait painter. Her biggest influences are wildlife and the countryside around her. Click RIGHT to see her studio during lockdown. Says Emma: I have to admit lockdown for me, although worrying, has been lovely, with no interruptions and no traffic. All seems calmer and quieter, with time to sit, watch and listen to my surroundings - inspiration in abundance.
Artist Reg Turrell and wife Vicky, author and nature correspondent for the Shropshire Star, have been spending most of their time in the garden. Reports Reg: We are very excited to have a pair of spotted flycatchers back, and are mesmerised by these little birds. They are nest-building in the same place as last year which is in the climbing rose above the sunroom doors. This means our patio and doors are again out of bounds this summer! But we feel very privileged that this pair, who are on the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) Red List because their numbers are down by 90%, are using our garden again.


The flycatchers look as if they are keeping social distancing...


To capture the scene, Reg used multi media including a series of photos he took of the flycatchers in flight taking material to the nest in the climbing rose
Unable to go to school or play with friends, children have been some of the hardest hit by lockdown restrictions. We'e seen their rainbow pictures displayed in windows across the country, and now we're inviting young artists to submit artwork in response to Covid-19. This could be about their anxieties, how they've spent their time, what they miss most, even what we might all learn from it.

All the artwork will be on display at the gallery when we re-open and, in the meantime, can be seen on the Young Artists' page of our website. Some young artists might like to add a written note. 

Parents/Guardians are asked to scan or take a picture of the work and send it as an attachment to The original artwork can then be brought in when we re-open, all being well in mid-June. 
Chinese painting by Katie (aged 13)

I love to travel to different countries and I've always wanted to visit China. Because of the pandemic it's not
possible to go to new places. I thought by exploring Chinese painting I could bring a part of that place to me. Painting it made me feel relaxed and took me away from all of the news about the pandemic. It made me feel like I was somewhere else.

Charcoal drawing by Jessica (aged 12)

This drawing is made from charcoal and water. And it shows how I feel in lockdown because that is my imaginary world I have made up when I am stuck inside the house/garden. 

Amelia (aged 5)

Glue gun used to create shapes and watercolour paint
Kids of all ages enjoy making art out of pebbles and, along with rainbows hung in windows, pebble art has been quite a thing during lockdown, with children decorating small stones and leaving them on walls and gateways, along footpaths, in parks and other public places in town and country for neighbours and passers-by to see and enjoy. All it takes is a little imagination and a touch of acrylic paint and varnish to turn a pebble into an eye-catching miniature work of art - also a useful paperweight!

Scrappy Sketchbooks
Great for kids to make and use
Though it's easy enough to buy a sketchbook, some kids may like to make their own. Click on TERESKA LEFT to see some fabulous examples of how to turn scrap paper and recycled materials into a DIY sketchbook, combining art with natural history and adding personal touches to really make it one-of-a-kind. Also great as little gifts.

Tereska specialises in botanical subjects and is passionate about using her art to raise awareness of conservation issues. Hand-in-hand with her own creative work, she's a natural teacher, and we look forward to seeing her, together with all our other tutors, back at the Willow when we are able to safely resume our workshops. 

Share a Mindful Moment with Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

The museums team have produced a series of short videos offering you a mindful exploration of artworks and objects held in the collection of Shropshire Museums. The videos are accompanied by a restful audio track by glass artist and educator Lindsey Kennedy (see also below***) which encourages you 'to look, to breathe and to be curious'.

The first videos of the series feature a blue and white Caughley china tea pot, a beautiful oil painting of an English garden and a silver Roman mirror from Wroxeter.  Please click here to view the videos.


Mosaic-maker Lindsey is also a regular exhibitor at our gallery. See RIGHT Mosaic Floral Bouquet Vase with flowers created from cullets (glass off-cuts). Handmade in Lindsey's studio, the work is part of her current upcycling/recycling project.

Lindsey runs regular glass mosaic classes at the Willow. She also undertakes unique glass art commissions made just for you. Please contact her at
The Repair Café is closed but is operating on a 'virtual' plane as described in the attached message from co-ordinator Elaine Locke.
New Banksy artwork celebrating the real heroes appears at Southampton General Hospital

Called Game Changer, the framed, largely black-and-white 1msketch shows a young boy playing with a toy nurse in flying superman pose, with discarded action figures Batman and Spider-Man consigned to a wastepaper basket. The work was left with a thank-you note for hospital workers. It will be auctioned to raise money for NHS charities - and clearly the price could rocket.
Tel: 01691 657575
Facebook: Willow
Address: 56 Willow Street, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 1AD
Editor: Hilary Moorcroft \ June  2020


Welsh Poppies
Machine embroidery

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