HOPE SAY Hill
Raptor paradise close to the Welsh border
THIS LOVELY, WILD area of Shropshire was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1952 and remains an area of rough hill pasture containing bracken and gorse, together with a stream in the valley and a wide variety of trees. This is a good birding area so long as you have plenty of energy! The name Hopesay is interesting, too, as the De Say family owned the area of land called Hope, so it was Hope de Say originally. This area really is a raptors’ paradise! Some people call it Buzzard country because they are always around but, more and more, we are seeing the flexing and torquing tail of the Red Kite overhead, the totemic bird of Wales, but now well over the border into southern Shropshire. There is a certain amount of hustle and bustle from the local corvids but the Red Kites don’t seem to care! Kestrels are about, too, so make sure you keep a look out for them. It’s difficult to take your eye off the sky but there are other birds such as Wheatear (in spring and summer), and Meadow Pipit around. This walk doesn’t cover many miles but it needs a bit of time as it’s very hilly in parts – and you just can’t stop watching those Red Kites!