Beauchief Environment Group
bluebell woods
   
         
         
 
Beauchief Environment Group News & Events

DIARY of EVENTS

Saturday 18 September
Launch of “Greener Greenhill”

A local initiative to follow a green agenda for the area as part of the national Great Big Green Week in September. There will be a stall outside Greenhill library with information, come along and talk to people to find out more. (The library are also having a book sale)

Wednesday 22 September
Launch of “Greener Greenhill”
Follow up event to develop ideas for this initiative.
Meet: Greenhill Library; 7.00 - 8.30 pm

Sunday 17 October
Autumn Walk through Beauchief 
An afternoon stroll to meet up with friends and enjoy the beauty of autumn in our area following the paths through the nature park and woodland.
Meet: 2.00 pm at Beauchief Abbey. All welcome, good footwear needed, dogs on leads only please

There has been unprecedented use of the footpaths in our area resulting in some becoming very muddy and damaged in places. Also the need to keep socially distanced has led to trampling of the ground flora adjacent to the paths. A survey of all the footpaths in our area has been undertaken and any remedial work needed was identified. The Monday group is continuing to work on footpaths and other tasks.

Committee Meeting are now held at about six-week intervals on Zoom. the next meeting will be held on Monday 27 September. Please use the telephone numbers in the right hand column if there is an urgent local environmental issue you would like to have discussed as this can be handled by email. If you are interested in joining the Committee you could telephone these numbers as well..

Under normal circumstances the Monday Working Group meets every Monday morning (weather and public holidays permitting) at 9.30 am to undertake the majority of BEG’s planned practical work throughout the year. They usually meet at the Barns by Beauchief Abbey, and anyone wishing to join in can simply turn up there. Everyone is welcome, and the regulars will be glad to help you. Anyone not a member of BEG is also welcome on an ad hoc basis, but will be encouraged to join in order to be included in the Group’s insurance and receive the regular newsletters. If you are interested in joining this regular session please telephone 0114 236 9876 for details of the work planned on the following Monday.

THE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION FOR BEG IS £3.50 FOR A FAMILY
You have the option to make payment in three ways:
(1). To continue to pay by cheque; or (2) to pay by Standing Order; or (3) by making direct payment into BEG’s bank account. Whichever method of payment you choose, please complete a form and send your subscription and/or donation to Gavin Johns, Hon Treasurer BEG, 67 Glen View Road, Sheffield S8 7SG (enclosing your cheque if appropriate). Please make your cheque payable to “Beauchief Environment Group”.  This ensures that our records are kept up to date. A form can be downloaded from this website.
The option to include a donation in addition to the household subscription remains in each section. Anyone setting up a Standing Order must complete the second form and forward it to their bank.

Receiving Newsletters
Posting newsletters incurs considerable expense, so if anyone currently receiving theirs by post would be happy to receive it by email, please tick the box on the form. Please be sure to include both your home and email address, even if you receive a printed newsletter, as you will then be able to receive occasional reminders, updates and other information.

Gulleys Wood Meadow
Over the summer the meadow has looked good. Plenty of Pignut, Buttercup and Heath Bedstraw flowered, and Yellow Rattle is widespread. Also Common Spotted Orchid. Some Yellow Rattle seed was collected by BEG members for spreading in our meadow areas. Gulleys Wood Meadow has now been cut using a new Council machine and, in line with the Higher Level Stewardship of the site; it was planned that some of the arisings containing seeds would be collected for spreading on other sites in the city to enhance their biodiversity.

Damage to the field adjacent to Beauchief Drive and Bradway Road
Plans were drawn up by the Council to improve that area and restrict access to unauthorised vehicles. Liaison with the SCC Parks and Countryside Manager, led to a site meeting on 22 July with her, BEG members and other local interested parties to see and discuss the plan. The damaged areas had been levelled by the Council prior to the meeting and a mixture of hay and meadow grass and wild flower seed spread over. (BEG supplied seeds still in stock from the creation of the Nature Park meadow. New growth was visible by the middle of August). The plan is quite comprehensive and apart from measures to restrict vehicle access it aims to increase the biodiversity of the area.

Removal of Invasive Species
Annual Himalayan Balsam Pulling in the local SSSI, Ladies Spring Wood - 
Saturday 10th July
Growth of Himalayan Balsam was found to be prolific and widespread over the range of the River Sheaf between Dore and Totley Station and the weir, but as usual, no plants were found below the weir. Some changes had taken place in the course of the River, with a new ‘island’ appearing in the invaded stretch since 2020, which could account for the Balsam extending its coverage. Plants were easily identifiable, but not yet in flower. Nine volunteers from BEG and the local Rotary Club participated. The sum of individual rough counts suggested that around 2000 balsam plants were uprooted and left in heaps to decompose, considerably more than in 2020. A few (5 or 6) plants of Japanese Knotweed were also discovered and pulled up. They were mostly small stems, but among them was one shoot almost a metre long, the tallest so far found on the woodland side of the River. A later check on Monday 16 August showed that missed plants were now considerably taller, and fully in flower. Only about 160 plants were seen and uprooted, suggesting that the earlier assault had been highly successful. Thanks to all the volunteers who came along to carry out this vital work for the maintenance of SSSI status for this ancient woodland.

ENVIRONMENT WEEKS EVENT
Sunday 6th June: “Beautiful Beauchief”
Sadly, this event has had to be cancelled due to current uncertainty about what will be allowed. Also, there was virtually no publicity for Environment Weeks this year. We are planning a get-together and walk later in the year for members and friends. Hopefully by then a level of normality will have returned.

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet – 50th Anniversary year
2020 was the 50th year that Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet has been open to the public as an Industrial Heritage Museum. The Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust was hoping to hold a number of events throughout the year to celebrate this significant anniversary. Unfortunately the Hamlet still remains closed during the period of the pandemic.

Yellow Rattle
If you are in the habit of walking in Gulleys Wood meadow you will know that one of the dominant plant species there is yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor). Yellow rattle is an annual that thrives in grasslands, living a semi-parasitic life by feeding off the nutrients in the roots of nearby grasses and reduces their vigour. It is usually recommended to sow it with other species when creating wildflower meadows. Several members collected a good amount of ripe seed heads one very hot afternoon in July and the seeds were sown on the new meadow on the Nature Park in early October. We hope that in time this will help to reduce the amount of growth there and promote diversity.

Beauchief Nature Park - Projected Tree Nursery
A small area of ground has been cleared at the Nature Park, so that we shall be able to plant some seedlings of native trees gathered locally. When grown to a suitable height they could be used in hedges and on other parts of the Nature Park. We are seeking any donations from members of seedlings in pots germinated from local seeds. Possible species are oak, beech, rowan, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut, ash, sycamore, hawthorn, hazel. If you have any rogue tree seedlings in your garden which you might otherwise have removed please pot them up and pass them on. Contact Carol or Diana at any time if you have anything to offer.

Beauchief Nature Park – the new path:
Members of the Monday Group have spent several sessions clearing a new path for walkers on the Nature Park. This leads from the end of the car park and up through woodland at the edge of the site, parallel to the Holly Path. Towards the top end it passes through an area where whips of native trees have been planted this season. This makes a really pleasant and interesting walk, and though a bit slippery underfoot at present this will improve with drier weather. By planting plenty of native trees we hope to do our bit towards maintaining woodland habitat in Sheffield. Sadly, ash die-back, currently taking hold in many areas of the country along with other tree diseases brought into the UK on imported trees, are set to change our landscape in a major way. One thing we can do according to the Woodland Trust is simply to plant native tree species, if possible making sure they are British grown. As a voluntary group we have now obtained more young trees from OVO Energy who have previously supplied these for the Nature Park free of charge.

Beauchief Nature Park: Beauchief Drive, opposite Gulleys Wood
On Monday afternoon 30th March, lots of BEG people turned up in perfect weather. After a brief reminder of the project, and look at the plan to discuss the best tree layout we divided into two groups to measure and mark out planting spaces with stakes. Some used a pedometer, and some a tape. We were working directly into freshly turned sods, as the digger and tractor moved soil alongside us, quite safely. The area designated to be the forest garden was roughly marked out but the edges could be flexible. The group thought that a winding path through would be the most suitable and this was marked out with stakes. The final layout looked very exciting and professional.

As a follow-up, on Monday 13th April, twenty people came to help plant the 30 fruit trees, some from BEG and some allotment holders too, which was good because the work proved somewhat harder than was initially imagined. The trees came in 12 litre pots and were brought in by Ed from the Council Woodlands Dept along with some compost, stakes and ties. BEG provided tree guards to protect the stems from possible rabbit damage as we already had a large stock of these left over from previous hedge planting sessions. After Ed had given a demonstration of how each tree should be planted and staked, the volunteers split into groups and began the task. Some holes were quite hard to dig as the soil was drier than expected rather stony in places. Each tree received some fresh, moist compost around the roots before the hole was re-filled and the tree staked. Each was then mulched with wood chip barrowed down from the pile stored on site. We were very pleased with ourselves when all the trees were in place and we stepped back to have a look. An excellent and rewarding morning’s work, well worth the effort put in. After a few days with no rain the Monday group helped Ed do some watering and soon afterwards leaves began to appear and even some flowers. There will still be a lot more to do in later months and another planting session in late autumn. 

Trees planted in the orchard (Phase 1)
Apples: Bramley’s Seedling, Christmas Pippin, Egremont Russet, Ellison’s Orange, Fiesta (Red Pippin), Golden Delicious, James Grieve, Herefordshire Russet, Red Falstaff, Scrumptious, Tickled Pink (Baya Marisa)
Greengage: Old Green Gage,
Damson: Merryweather,
Plums: Guinevere, Marjorie’s Seedling, Victoria
Cherries: Morello, Stella, Summer Sun, Sweetheart; unfortunately Sunburst did not survive the summer dry weather.
Pears: Beurré Hardy, Concorde, Conference, Doyenné du Comice
Walnut: Broadview or Buccaneer,
Hazel (Filbert)

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet:
The restoration project at the Hamlet with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is in hand. The large water wheel is currently being restored. At present the area over the wheel is covered to protect it from the elements and so far a new beam has recently been installed to replace the one which was rotting away. You may have noticed a new learning and visitor centre being built on what was the overflow car park. The building is modern and eco-friendly and will accommodate new interpretation material and facilities for learning. The cafe and shop will also be located there, freeing up space in the old hamlet buildings for other uses. The project aims to encourage wider use of the site by the community throughout the year, and support and help from local community groups is being sought. The grounds need quite a lot of work to be done in order to make the site more welcoming and suitable for people with disabilities. Specialist contractors will be needed to carry out the difficult jobs. As BEG has worked at the site in previous years, we have been asked for our help once again. The staff at the Museums Trust hope that we may be inspired to offer further help as the project progresses.

LITTLE WOOD BANK: - Habitat Management Update
On 9th November 2015 three of us met John Gilpin, the Woodlands Officer, to walk the whole area in order to review/update the management of Little Wood Bank. During the walk a number of important tasks were identified to be undertaken at different seasons of the year, either by BEG or the Woodlands Dept. The main open area of gorse scrub was inspected and it was clear that since coppicing some years ago healthy re-growth had been successfully achieved. Some of the gorse had grown “leggy” again so these particular bushes are due to be re-coppiced so that dense, low cover can be maintained. 
The holly on the Bank has increased considerably over recent years and Mr Gilpin suggested that this could be thinned out in a few places and these were identified. (See Monday group reports above). The removal of some saplings from areas intended to be kept open was also suggested and this will be added to the list of winter tasks. It was arranged that the Rangers would use their flail mower to help us cut back particularly dense brambles and thick vegetation from the edges of the meadow and other open areas accessible to the machine. Woodlands were also to deal with some broken, and possibly dangerous, tree branches, which I believe has now been carried out. In addition to the above the annual haymaking is to be continued and the Monday group will keep an eye out for when other maintenance tasks need to be tackled.


NEWS – what’s been happening recently

NO EVENTS HAVE TAKEN PLACE SO FAR IN 2020. THE REPORTS BELOW SHOW OUR TYPICAL ACTIVITIES FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

WORKING MORNING - SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2019
Ten people came along to the Nature Park on a dry afternoon to plant more seedlings and saplings in the area designated as a new tree nursery. Even though excessive vegetation had already been cut back by the Monday working group it was still hard work digging the holes needed, due to the presence of bramble roots and the ground being saturated by recent heavy rains. On a positive note, there was no need for watering! A lot was acheived in an hour and a half, and we wait to see how the plants fare next year. Thanks to all for their hard work and tree donations.

FLOWER WALK – SATURDAY 6 JULY 2019 

Unfortunately the morning was wet but by 2.00 pm it turned out to be a lovely day. Sadly, this event did not attract any members other than those of us leading it, possibly due to the wet morning. Rather than give up, four of us decided to look at what was in flower along Beauchief Drive and then do a survey of species flowering in the Nature Park meadow. This proved to be quite a difficult job due to the sheer density of the vegetation. We were amazed at just how many species were in flower and the profusion of some of them. Prominent species in the hedges and hedge bottoms along Beauchief Drive were, Wood avens, White dead nettle, Silverweed, Dog’s mercury, Hedge woundwort, Cleavers, Bindweed, not all species were in flower. The
bindweed flowers however were much in evidence and there was a great display of field roses at various places along the hedgerows. We did find white bryony but it was not in flower. There were lots of species flowering in the Nature Park meadow, some of which came as a surprise as you couldn’t see them from the track. We were particularly pleased to see that Yellow rattle was present, both in the meadow and in the orchard as the seeds had only been introduced last year.
Non-grass species identified: A= abundant, F= frequent, O= occasional, R= rare
Yellow rattle (O); Cornflower (F); Meadow cranesbill (F); Yarrow (A); Red clover (A); Black knapweed (A)
Birds wood trefoil(F); Meadow vetchling (F); Tufted vetch (A); Bush vetch (A); Ox-eye daisy (A);
Corncockle (O); Hedge Bedstraw (F); Hairy tare (F); White campion (R)

ANCIENT TREES IN BEAUCHIEF
An ongoing project with Michael Senkans (Ziggy), SCC Biodiversity Monitoring Officer
Whilst recognising that none of the trees in our area qualifies as being in the “Major Oak” category, we nevertheless have trees special to our area. On two evenings we made a start mapping and recording these venerable trees following the method set down by English Nature. So far we have studied 2 beech trees and a sweet chestnut behind Beauchief Hall, a five trunked field maple behind Bradway Golf Range and a very large alder by Beauchief Ponds. The aim is to continue with this project so that a permanent record is kept of these very old trees. 

Grassland Monitoring - Shene Field and Gulleys Wood Meadow
The Council is monitoring the areas of grassland in its ownership and keeping records of species present, especially those regarded as key species, in order to gauge the extent of changes that may be taking place there, whether improvement or deterioration. Michael Senkans (SCC Biodiversity Monitoring Officer) and BEG members have met on three occasions since spring 2011, using monitoring sheets to review and record any changes in species/abundance and management which may have occurred in the two meadows under the Countryside Stewardship scheme. Since the previous visit on 7 July highland cattle have grazed in Shene field so we were not able to find the late flowering species, such as harebell, on the 8 September visit. The cattle have done a fine job of keeping thistles and scrub at bay and will probably be taken out of the field quite soon. We found quite a few fruiting bodies of a fungus known as the Dung Roundhead, not surprisingly growing on cow pats! Gulley’s Wood Meadow was mown in August and the grass is looking fine. 

MONDAY WORKING GROUP: October 2020 - September 2021
Monday 13 September
Today all nine, that arrived, went to Gulley's Meadow, following up the comments relating to how much the brambles, raspberries and other growth had encroached and needed cutting back, and the hedges needed trimming. So, all morning was spent giving it this much needed TLC; maybe we will need to return next week.


Monday 6 September
Of the thirteen that arrived today, twelve went to Shene Field and were joined at break time by one who had been Litter Picking first. We had been asked to ensure that Shene was stockproof pending the arrival of the Cattle. We repaired the Fence at the bottom, by the Brook, where a fallen tree had damaged it, and cleared the entrance area of growth so gates can be opened. A number of us meanwhile pulled out thistles.

Monday 23 August
Twelve of the group joined in today, and all but one went to the Nature Park and cleared around the whips, although, certainly in the Car Park area, we can no longer call them whips, many are now 10' tall. The Woodland Meadow needed a lot of clearing and Tom's annual trip with the Bank Commander will help. One did his solo Litter Pick around the area, and joined us at elevenses.
Council staff were cutting Gulley's Wood Meadow. It was commented that the raspberries and brambles had reclaimed some of it. Nothing we can currently use would be effective so it may be the Bank Commander will be put to use here also.

Monday 16 August
Nine members turned up at the Barn this morning. One went to search for Himalayan Balsam by the River Sheaf where he uprooted about 150 specimens before returning to join the rest of us at coffee. The main working group descended on the Nature Park and strimmed the edges of the circular path which were getting quite overgrown. Dense vegetation around some of the saplings that had been planted recently was also trimmed back. A search was made for saplings planted on the edge of Gulleys Wood Meadow but of the three found, two were dead and the third looked most unhealthy. It was better news for those planted between the orchard and the wood store where many of the oak saplings looked healthy. Examination of the centre of the wildflower meadow found several bits of Japanese Knotweed emerging from beneath the black polythene. These were uprooted and left to dry out on the plastic.

Monday 9 August
A rather humid today for the nine that turned up for work. Three went to Gulley's Wood Meadow, where the wall needed some TLC after people had removed coping stones for seats, and not replaced them. They rejoined the others at elevenses; they were working around the middle pond at the time, clearing the main path. That group had started at the higher pond and removed some sprouting shrubs from the retaining wall. 

Monday 2 August
On a sunny morning, ten arrived to be met by Council staff, who gave us a demonstration of how to load the Strimmer Wire correctly in order to get maximum use out of it. One began Litter picking while nine went to the two paths that meet the Abbeydale Golf Course drive, to clear it of overgrown beech branches, bracken and brambles. We had not been up there for a few years and in places the path was barely visible. We tested the strimmer using the correct way of loading it and it worked much better. Some walkers and a local homeowner were very appreciative of our efforts.

Monday 26 July
This morning, ten members went to the Hall Path and finished the clearing of it. Again, with being limited to hand tools, we could not clear as much as we would like. 

Monday 19 July
On probably the hottest Monday morning this year, 10 went to the Hall Path, to carry on with the path clearance. One group began at the Cobbled Path end with the other at the Nettle Patch end. Next week we hope to finish it by meeting in the middle. 


Monday 12 July
On today's humid morning nine of us arrived, strangely enough very little Football talk. One set off on his solo litter pick, after reporting a successful Balsam bash on Saturday. In Hutcliffe Wood, we only managed the half-step (the most urgent of the new steps needed) owing to difficulty of getting stobs into the rocky terrain this morning. We will do the other two later. Four members of the group continued work on the final section of the fencing around the Deer Park. It is now complete after many months work. Ladies Spring Wood and the Hall Path had nettles and brambles cleared in areas where they were covering the path to such an extent the path itself was barely visible. We used, for a short spell, the new strimmer, but found it so ineffectual against even Nettles, that we spent more time repairing the wire than actually strimming. We reverted to hand shears after that.

Monday 5 July
Four of us went to Carol’s Copse to finish the bracken pulling and scythe mowing, plus attention to our planted saplings, that we started last week. The uprooted and dead bracken from last week was placed into the edge of the woodland. A further three of us went to Park Bank Wood to replace revetment and add some missing stubs. The remaining three continued working on the Beauchief Hall deer fence. The work now requires much careful salvaging of disused fencing and a lot of ingenious piecing of sections together which is painstakingly slow. However two or three weeks more should see the project completed.

Monday 28 June
Eleven met with Tom at the to take receipt of a Hedge Trimmer & Strimmer from the Council. Brian & Ray's benches were given a generous coat of wood preservative. The largest group went to Carol's Copse and began the clearing of the bracken, brambles and other growth around the perimeter and around the young Trees. We used Scythe, the new Strimmer, hand Shears and brute strength. Next week should see this job completed. Three of the group continued work on the Hall fencing. An eight-foot’ metal pole was repurposed and put to very good use in order to secure another section of fencing. Deep digging, removal of stone and the cutting of the pole were needed. One final section and a gate section still need completing.

Monday 21 June
Thirteen turned out today. The larger group went to the Nature Park and the annual thistle & dock removal took place. Prior to commencing though we reminded ourselves of the distinction between the Docks that need removing and Sorrel. It was commented that we last did this two years ago and although we removed a lot of the undesirables today, the thinning process does work as much less was found this time. A path to the two benches was cleared. Both benches need a coat of oil, and our supply quickly ran out; more is on order. The paths around the Park, and other areas need clearing, as in some areas the Path is barely visible.
Three of the group continued work on the Hall fencing. Drilling holes into the metal uprights proved to be a challenging job before fitting three rakers to stabilise the fencing. The final section was measured and prepared ready to install the fencing next week. An overhanging branch at a dangerous head height was sawn off.

Monday 14 June
On a warm dry morning eleven of us met at the Barn, and a number of tasks were taken up. Work on the Hall fence repairs was continued. Some planings were transported, by a very small group, to the Hall perimeter path. Motivation for this job is waning somewhat. Some donated, potted trees , were planted in the Woodland Meadow. The Fingerpost , at the top of the Cobbled Path, had been knocked over. Postcrete had been purchased and this was reset in position.

Monday 7 June
With eleven in attendance, the day began with John Gilpin informing us of the rationale behind the Power Tools decision . From now on, our own Tools cannot be used and instead the Council will loan our requirements, complete with maintenance of them.  John Gilbert agreed to liaise with Tom over requirements and delivery. One of us then set off to litter pick the Drive, while the rest went to the Hall fence area and reclaimed a 48' length of fence from the wood below. We placed it where the Team will cut it to size. Seven then went to the Path and carried on the resurfacing, we are now on the far reaches, but still managed six trips. 

Monday 24 May
The majority of the thirteen who arrived today went up to the Path around the Hall and carried on with transporting the surface material and laying it . 24 loads were carried and still more to do, with plenty of material left to do it.
Four of the group continued work on the fencing around the deer park. Three sections of the fence are either missing or in a very bad state of repair. In order to complete these sections, we have unearthed a 48’ length which was hidden in undergrowth in High Wood. In order to carry this up to the deer park, we shall need the help of all those who are working in a fortnight’s time. This shouldn’t take too long so could be the first job before everyone carries on with work on the Hall path. We noticed that a section of the dry stone wall running down from the deer park into High Wood is in need of repair - a job for the future.

Monday 17 May
Twelve workers braved the forecast today and two Groups split into separate jobs. The first group, working in small groups, the Hall path had 12 barrow loads of the surfacing material carried to it. The journey from the layby to where we are working is 1/4 mile, we managed therefore 6 miles [including the return journey]  all told, before rain stopped play. At Break, the Rain came down so heavy the areas we were doing overflowed with water, so it was decided to abandon work. Four members of the group returned to the Deer Park to continue work on the fencing. Rakers were added to give extra support and two further sections of fencing were erected before the heavy rain and hail arrived and put an end to our working morning.

Monday 10 May
Twelve of the Group turned out today and three groups performed as follows, with one litter picking. A group of six worked on the muddy and rutted public footpath on the western boundary of the Beauchief Hall estate. Drainage channels were dug where possible, excess mud was scraped away and surfacing material laid, having been barrowed up the Cobble Path from where it had been left by SCC. The 14 barrowloads used made a big difference to the stretch of path worked on but there will be more to do next week. The paths were well used this morning and we received various expressions of thanks. Two of the group cut two uprisers and took four stobs for a couple of new steps at the Abbey Lane end of Hutcliffe Wood. They took up all the whips put in last autumn and the goat willows and blackthorns put in autumn 2019 at the Dalewood Avenue entrance to Hutcliffe Wood. The lady at no. 19 had complained to John Gilpin that she didn’t want trees near her new garage wall but would replace them with shrubs of her own choosing. We didn’t have time to replant the whips or put in the steps before the rain. Four continued work on the fencing around the deer park. The far side is almost complete now, and the shorter side is coming on. However, as there are missing pieces, we shall have to use parts that have been abandoned near Gulley’s Meadow. One job that needs doing is to continue collecting brash to put in front of and behind the fencing to discourage people from climbing on it. A suggested project for the future is to restore the dry-stone wall ( and possibly the steps) at the end of the fencing nearest the council wood store.

Monday 26 April
Today, another gorgeous Spring morning, saw fourteen of us turn up. Two separate groups carried on the work on the Hall fence. We are seeing progress, and one section is now finished. One group of six spilt into two threes for most of the morning. One of the smaller groups replaced the two most worn of the steps at the Westwick end of the wood, but identified another two or three to replace. They then joined the other smaller group which had been clearing up the mess left by a large den at the other end of the wood. Many bags of litter had been removed on a previous occasion and after Tom had removed the larger items including furniture, he asked us to fill in the large hole which had been left. The hole was about 4 feet deep, with about a foot of stagnant water containing litter and other debris which was removed as far as possible. The litter and other debris from the hole and surrounding area was left at the junction of Beauchief Drive and the public footpath to Westwick Crescent. An earlier, smaller den of similar construction was found near the bottom of the steps. This could do with some tidying up but there was insufficient time today.

Monday 19 April
On a particularly warm, bright Spring morning twelve of us mustered, including two new recruits, Yuko & Philippa. Philippa bravely set off Litter picking on her first day. Six went to the Hall Fence to carry on the repairs, progress is being made, but patience is needed. Five of us worked on the steps nearest to Cockshutt Farm in Park Bank Wood.  Two risers and three edge revetments were replaced on this flight of steps. 

Monday 12 April
Eleven of the group turned out today and split into three Groups. Repairs were recommenced at the Hall deer fence, where a grateful owner came up to speak to us as did some of the Deer. There is still much to do. Quite a bit of holiday litter was picked. Four of us carried out work on steps and revetments in Park Bank Wood. Two steps and two adjoining revetments were replaced on the slope bordering Cockshutt Farm, and two new revetments inserted on the top path between the long steps and Bocking Lane, where there was evidence of erosion. 

Monday 28 March
The Monday Group resumed work today under the new Covid-19 restrictions. A gorgeous Spring morning saw 15 turn out. One group went to the Path around the Hall, where some areas were ankle deep in mud. Being careful not to create too much of a hollow, these areas were scraped and where possible stones placed to aid passage. Three of us replaced three of “Tony’s Steps” in Park Bank Wood. A third group scraped away some muddy patches and found stones nearby to provide something to walk on - much less effort than barrowing in surfacing at the moment. Half a black bag of litter was also collected.

Monday 4 January 2021
Three of us continued cutting back holly on Little Wood Bank from around other trees, particularly saplings that were being crowded out by holly, creating several large brash piles in the area.
Six others continued work on the fence surrounding the Deer Park at Beauchief Hall. Several metres of fencing were lifted from the ground. Six vertical supports were added and wired as well as many of the metal pieces being straightened. Chocolates from Hora at the Hall were a welcome treat at coffee time.
We met with John Gilpin, who gave us guidance on which trees in the Gorse patch could be removed, and this task was completed. Bill met with John Gilpin to Potential work in Hutcliffe Wood was discussed. A walk around this wood will be arranged.
Our litter picker found rather a lot of post-holiday litter, nearly all small stuff, not many cans and bottles.

Monday 21 December 2020
The very wet morning did not deter seven of us from 'enjoying' the final working morning of 2020. Five went to Gorse Patch and carried on the work from last week. We are almost finished and need to plan when to burn the debris. Two arrived at the Barn and did a reconnoitre and replaced missing copes on the wall at the bottom of Gulley’s Meadow with suitable top stones from Sheen Beck.

Monday 14 December
Fifteen of us turned out today on what became a clear morning, although at 9-30 am it was a different story with a heavy downpour of rain. Thankfully this lasted only a short time, but we were rewarded with a, short lived, perfect rainbow. On person did a solo litter pick, filling one large black sack. Eight people [two groups of four] went to Little Wood Bank and began the gorse clearance. The area we are in has not been cleared for many years, and the gorse was very 'leggy.’ We have yet to decide when it will be burnt. Six of us went to work on the old fence at the back of Beauchief Hall, including a welcome new volunteer.  The job is extensive and will take many sessions to complete.  However, we made a good start and a thorough assessment of the materials and tools required.  The length of fence we began work on is estimated to be around 200 metres.  We managed to restore much of it to an upright position, albeit with temporary measures, straighten out other sections and re-attach some that had parted company.  Our efforts were rewarded with mince pies from the Hall and the close interest of several deer.

Monday 7 December
Our first after the second lockdown , saw nine people arrive for work, and three equal groups were formed. One went up to Tony's steps to repair damage and carry out other maintenance. They went to Park Bank Wood and replaced a broken step. While there, they cleared leaves and other debris from the steps but there was little to do as there had obviously been leaf-blowing, both on the steps and on the other public footpaths in the wood. They also cleared leaves and other debris from around the grilles on the Abbey pond above the public footpath
The other two went, separately, to the Nature Park and Hutcliffe Wood to plant Whips delivered in November. Two-thirds of a mix of 105 Whips consisting of Downy Birch, Hazel, Crab Apple, Hawthorne & Goat Willow were placed in the Nature Park, and the remaining third in Hutcliffe Wood. This activity should be registered on the Plant Britain Website, which was introduced on Countryfile Nov 29th.

Monday 2 November
Eleven members turned up for action this morning. Three continued pruning the holly bushes near the main standards in Little Wood Bank, placing the pieces into brash piles. Four continued work on the second section of the dry-stone wall behind the Abbey. Most of the stone was covered by fallen leaves so before we could start work on the wall we had to rake off as many of the leaves as we could in order to identify the stone shapes. Fortunately, the green keepers arrived with their leaf blowers and kindly blew away all the leaves for us which was much appreciated. By the end of the morning we had completed the wall and topped it off with coping stones. The unused stones need to be cleared away which we hope to do next week. The outflow grills of the lower pond were reported as somewhat blocked with leaves and debris, but individual members had already cleared them. Four met at the barns and then went to repair revetments along the public footpath at the top of Park Bank Wood. A new revetment was inserted to replace one that had fallen away, and usable parts of the latter were recycled to replace small rotten sections in other places. Stobs were replaced as necessary. We then cleared leaves and other debris from around the grates in the middle one of the Abbey Ponds, and repaired a broken step behind the Nature Park in High Wood, collecting litter along the way on Beauchief Drive

Monday 19 October
Ten of us braved the Rain and turned out today, although best laid plans...etc. Five went to Little Wood Bank and carried on with Holly clearance. The Rain, though was heavy and persistent and by 10.30 am it was decided to finish. Just three of us turned up for the Abbey/golf course wall this morning. Annie had attended a Peak District drystone walling course over the weekend. As the rain became heavier, the scant leaf canopy became more hindrance than help and we abandoned work at 10.15 am with only a few additions to last week’s finish. Two went to the De La Salle Wall and managed to find sufficient coping stones to finish the wall about 11.00 am and then went home after a drink.

Monday 12 October
Twelve turned out today on a morning that turned out drier than originally thought. The Abbey Wall had four workers. They worked on securing the foundations of the next section of the dry-stone wall behind the Abbey before continuing to build a further two courses whilst keeping a close eye on the golfers teeing off from the fourth tee! The De La Salle Wall is still in need of much more work; the four there today are doing a grand job. The four at the Nature Park, finished clearing the Orchard and went to the Woodland Meadow and did more clearance. Both areas have had as much as we can do now.

Monday 5 October
On a warm sunny day, thirteen of us arrived for work. Four went to the Nature Park and began clearing the loose grass after its recent mowing. It looked a very daunting task, but we managed to clear it all and clear around some of the fruit trees also. Three went to the De La Salle wall to carry on the repair, making good progress. The five that went to the Abbey wall report that they have completed the first section and are making progress with the second one. Our litter picker collected a much larger amount than usual.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2020 - Saturday 8th February 2020 at Greenhill Library
Thirty-one members attended this year's AGM, which was again held at Greenhill Library. The evening opened with the formal AGM proceedings. The minutes of the 2019 AGM were approved; and the Chair, Diana, went through the year month by month, showing photographs of working sessions, and finishing with wildlife pictures sent in by BEG members,in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. Last year’s activities included Higher Level Stewardship of Gulleys Wood Meadow and Shene Field, the workings of the Monday Group, who now also do some work in Hutcliffe Wood. Saturday tasks were not being as well supported as previously, Also mentioned were wildflower and wildlife walks undertaken during the year. It was stressed how much work is done on Mondays.
The Treasurer presented the audited accounts, reminding members that they now follow the calendar year. He explained of how the two accounts were used, and about depreciation of equipment.  told the meeting how he depreciates the value of equipment. Thanks were given to Dave Ludlam our retiring independent accounts examiner. Brett Duncan had been recommended to check the accounts next year, and members approved this recommendation. The Treasurer was thanked and the Accounts accepted.
The Secretary’s report was read in her absence. Thanks were given to all who hand-deliver the newsletters saving much in postage; for the donations which amounted to over and above the receipts from subscriptions; and to the Chairman for all her work, much of which is unseen.

The group’s officers, and the present committee were willing to continue and were re-elected en bloc. 
A Family Fun Day will be held at the Nature Parkon Saturday 9 May as BEG’s contribution to Sheffield Environment weeks. , where it will be held and about some of those running the activities. Members will be assisted by a Ranger and members of the Sorby Society. More volunteers would be welcome, and donations of cakes etc for refreshments would be appreciated. Beauchief Abbey will be open and also providing refreshments. Sainsburys will be supplying tea and coffee.
Patrick Coghlan praised the work done in the area by BEG. He wanted to organise a meeting in the area to try to stir up interest in Climate Change. This met with some support and the Chairman suggested Patrick should contact appropriate groups and come back to BEG, so the committee could consider any proposals.
Pam Hodgson gave thanks to all who work at Beauchief Abbey; the many visitors to the Abbey are often impressed by the surrounding area. The legal work on ‘Pam’s Patch’ is still not completed.
This is Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet’s 50th year open to the public and some events may be held there. BEG may be asked to help with cleaning up the site beforehand.
Damage to grass verges in Beauchief was mentioned.  This will be passed to the meeting of Local Councillors.
Afterwards we had an excellent bring-and-share supper with wine, soft drinks and coffee, and there was plenty of time to chat. 

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE 2021
Diana Holland (Chairman), Carol Behagg (Secretary), Gavin Johns (Treasurer), Michael Gagan (Website and publicity), John Gilbert (Committee Meeting Chair), Jennie Hinton, David Hunt, Trudi Parsons, Jonathan Smith.

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