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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 November 2007, 13:43 GMT
Bid to save ancient holly trees
Holly tree
Some of the trees are 400 years old
Shropshire Wildlife Trust has launched a 250,000 appeal to save a 400-year-old grove of holly trees.

The Hollies is a 90-acre piece of land on the Stiperstones nature reserve in Shropshire.

It is being sold by a local farmer and the trust has until March 2008 to raise the money.

The trust's John Hughes said: "There is a tradition of people coming to cut holly for Christmas and we'd like that to continue."

The two hundred or so ancient holly trees can be found scattered on the north-east edge of the Stiperstones, with some thought to be three or four centuries old.

The trees have survived for so long because of the traditional tree management practice of pollarding, which encouraged growth.

The trust's Sarah Bierley said the miners who used to live on the Stiperstones fed their cattle on the holly leaves, which are very nutritious.

The practice ceased when turnip growing became fashionable, she added.

Appeal to restore historic land
18 Dec 05 |  Shropshire

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