To lovers of the outdoors, it is the jewel in the crown of the Shropshire Hills. But it hasn’t always been widely accessible to the public.
In fact, it is only 50 years since the Long Mynd, a picturesque string of valleys and hillocks that flank the A49 for nearly eight miles around Church Stretton, has been under the ownership of the National Trust.
That is the blink of an eye compared to the age of the Mynd, which is formed from some of the oldest rock in Britain, but this weekend the trust will be celebrating the landmark with a day of events at its base in Carding Mill Valley.
The Long Mynd is in fact just one hill – mynd comes from the Welsh word for mountain, mynydd. But, from below, the rippled landscape looks like many hills, where houses cling to the sides at Church Stretton, Little Stretton and All Stretton, Pulverbatch, Smethcott, Woolstaston, Asterton, Myndtown, Wentnor and Ratlinghope.
Today 6,000 acres of it is looked after by the trust after it was bought by public subscription in 1965 for £18,000. Gearing up for the event on Sunday, property administrator Nicola Read said it was now a major site for the trust. She said: “We have the office, we have rangers, the education department, a tearoom, a shop and an ecologist.”
As well as Carding Mill Valley, the Long Mynd includes Ashes Hollow valley to the south, another popular walking spot, as well as the infamous Burway, a road which winds around the hillside over Church Stretton with a steep drop on one side.
The day will run from 11am to 4pm. Details from (01694) 725000 or firstname.lastname@example.org