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Shropshire Hills Tourism's 

From the Chairman

We're up and running with the website and clocking up in excess of 1,000 visits a week, the twitter feed is gradually building followers and some tweets are being broadcast into the tens of thousands of followers.

We are now on the lookout for prospective new members, as we can almost automatically enroll people with the new system.  But look at the benefits and try and persuade someone you know to try out their £25.  It can't be hard to get that back!

The minutes of the last Board meeting are available online for all to see.  We welcome constructive suggestions and especially people who like to take on a project.  My thanks to Marc Petty who approached us via Twitter, who suggested and wrote a new page for Wellington - a handy gateway for the north of the Shropshire Hills.

We have been recognised for some time by Visit England as a Destination Organisation for our region, and now we are getting access to their marketing muscle.  Whilst their calls for content often seem to give about 10 days to turn stuff around we have identified a number of themes they use.  Have a look and see if you have content we can submit for you - free PR can't be bad.


The Bed & Breakfast Show is being held again in Bristol on 24 & 25 February.  Entry is free if pre-registered and there are a range of talks and seminars. The Full Conference and Seminar Schedule for the Bed & Breakfast and Self Catering Exhibition and Conference is now on the website.
The Great Shropshire Hills & Ludlow Swapshop 2016 is coming next month on 17th March 10.30 am – 13.00 pm at The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms
Please do come along to our launch of the season event and promote your attraction. We will be inviting accommodation and tourism businesses from all over the area who will be very pleased to see you.
Print swap, Marketing advice, Networking, contact swapping, Meeting local suppliers and businesses.  We hope to have Drone rangers flying overhead.
There is a small charge for attractions requiring table space, but free for all other attendees. There is a cafe, shop. exhibition and the meadows at the centre.
This is event has been organised jointly with the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership and ourselves.
For more information go to
Social Media
We have a  Twitter feed  @VistShropHills which  features on the new website.  If you tag messages with @visitshrophills, we will then retweet to extend your reach. Last week we reached 67,500 tweeters!  In this world of multi media, please make your tweets stand alone rather than just a link.
Great Days out in Shropshire Hills
The replacement for the very popular Discovery Map is now available. Included for the first time is a brief calendar of main events.  We will be leaving largish quantities at the various Information Centres around the area, so do pop in to Ludlow, Bishop’s Castle, Discovery Centre or Church Stretton to pick up your supplies.  Or you can contact your local Board Member as listed at the end of this newsletter or get in touch with Shropshire Hills AONB at Drovers House, Craven Arms as they will also have supplies.
We are working on SEO  to make sure the website comes high on search engines.  If everyone can provide a link to from their own website for information on the surrounding area, the ranking goes up and we all benefit.  Much praise to Virtual Shropshire for their efforts and help.
One of the great things about the new website is that renewals will be automated and payment can be taken online.
Publicity from Visit England
As mentioned in Paul’s editorial Visit England produce publicity under a dozen headings, and often will send out requests for content a month or so in advance of the calendar, so we can probably expect something for Easter shortly.  However they are revising their website, and in about 3 months will want autumn content
Romantic breaks Foodie Breaks, Lifestyle Events, Cultural Breaks, Rural Escapes, Activity Holidays, Budget Breaks, Heritage Breaks and Family Breaks
They need a Title (50 characters maximum including spaces), introduction copy (150 characters maximum), and Body copy (minimum 100 words, maximum 120 words); plus one to five pictures at both a web resolution and high definition for printing.
Get your thinking hats on and see what you can come up with for September-November.

A great big welcome to Louise Welsby from Buy From Shropshire who has kindly  started off our Blog on the new website. You can find the blog articles under the new “Features” menu heading, or go directly to Louise's first blog here If you have ideas for blogs, or would like to write a guest blog then email us  Do visit and support Louise's venture promoting local artists and artisans.

Council Cuts
Shropshire Council have announced a potential budget for 2017/18 which involves removing all funding from tourism, parks, leisure services, rights of ways, museums - effectively all these services at risk of being decommisioned. the report can be found…/20160127%20Cabinet%20Finance%20… Page 26 is frightening. As an association we will be making representations for some tourism support but cuts are going to be severe.

Making Your Holiday Home Cyclist Friendly

A good blog post from Independent Cottages on what cyclists are looking for when booking cottages and how we might adapt. For instance a simple locked shed may not be deemed safe storage for a £7,500 bike! --
Local Walk in The Times
Recently The Times had a local walk featured which was written by Christopher Summerville, who stayed at The Castle Hotel in Bishops Castle.  Chris publishes his walks on his own website, so if looking for inspiration (for you or your guests) have a look at which gives a map showing walks available.
Virtual Shropshire web designers
Virtual Shropshire are delighted to have been chosen to redesign & host the Shropshire Hills Tourism website. As you may know we have been promoting Shropshire on the web for nearly 20 years and offer a range of service to tourism businesses.  We are offering to create responsive websites from £450, including the first 12 months hosting and support. After 12 months the annual hosting is £160.  Plus a listing on our main Shropshire Guide will cost you just £80 per year. Free listings are available for event organisers. Virtual Shropshire is not VAT registered, so these are the actual prices you pay.
Our photographer Sabine has been featured in numerous publications and is available to photograph accommodation, attractions and events.
In addition Virtual Shropshire is a CAA approved drone operator and we are able to offer professional aerial photography at reasonable costs. See our Drone Rangers website at
For more information visit or telephone 01952 728623 email via
Co-wheels Shropshires a not for profit company providing pay as you go car hire in Ludlow and Shrewsbury.  Our visitor membership scheme gives people travelling to Shropshire by public transport flexible access to a car – members can hire a car for as little as 1 hour to a few days.  If you are interested in linking the visitor scheme with your business we can set up a direct link to a customised page on the Co-Wheels website. For example, this link is set up from the Mortimer’s Country website.
For more information please contact Ian Yarroll
07789 441173
Welcome to new members:  Co-wheels Shropshire, Hardwicke Farm, Corve Barn Farm Holiday Accommodation, Upper Bromdon B&B, Little Hall Cottage and Field House
Board Meeting
The minutes of the Shropshire Hills Tourism board meeting on 19 January are now available to all at this link
Shropshire Hills Tourism Board Meeting 
22 March 2016 at 14:00. at the Drover House, AONB Offices, Craven Arms 

All members are welcome to join us at the meeting. Please email if you plan to attend so we know numbers.  Please feel free to contact any of the committee about any issue you may like to raise.

Paul Davis – Chairman - Lower Farm Holidays, Shelve  01743 891117
David Palliser – Director 
  - Church Stretton 01694 722108
Jo Longstaff - Hope Park Farm Cottages, Bentlawnt, 07905 636569
Kay Dartnell - Wheely Wonderful Cycling  01568 770755
Jack Limond  - White Horse Inn, Clun 01588 418149
Cynthia Prior - Mocktree Barns,  Leintwardine 01547 540441
Catherine Evans - Broome Park Farm
Nigel McDonald - Shropshire Hills AONB
Lee Chapman  - Treasurer  
Alan Garner - Director
Bob Welch - Church Stretton Town Council tourism group
Michael Turner - Ludlow Visitor Information Centre