Beauchief Environment Group
bluebell woods
   
         
         
 
Beauchief Environment Group News & Events

DIARY of EVENTS

We have now decided that we can begin holding events again after successful oudoor walks in April and May. Our first indoor event will be the Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Saturday 11 June. After so long without being able to meet it will be good to see friends again.

Saturday 10 September 2022
Bradway Action Group Fun Day 
This event will be held again this year. BEG will organise a small display table with membership forms and newsletters.

Saturday 8 October 2022 (may be subject to change)
Evening Social Meeting 
An evening to meet up with other members and see photos of the working mornings, various projects and wildlife which we have not been able to show due to the pandemic.
Meet: Greenhill Library. Time: 19.00 am. 

Saturday 29 October 2022
Autumn Walk 
Meet: Beauchief Abbey. Time: 14.00 am. 

Subscriptions
THE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION FOR BEG IS £3.50 FOR A FAMILY
Subscriptions to BEG for 2022 are now due. A form was attached to the email message that included the latest issue of the Newsletter, giving the option of paying by one of three ways:
Please note that whichever method of payment you choose it is important that you complete the relevant section of the form (enclosing your cheque/cash if appropriate) and send to Gavin Johns, Hon Treasurer (address on the form). This ensures that our records are kept up to date. Please make cheques payable to “Beauchief Environment Group”.
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. Members who have already set up a Standing Order and intend to continue do not need to do anything unless wishing to change the amount of the Order. But please let the Treasurer know if you if you wish to cancel the Standing Order.

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 subscription 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. All personal data is password protected and will not be made available to other parties.

Committee Meetings are now being held in person at about six-week intervals. the next meeting will be held on Monday 22 August 2022. 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.

Removal of Invasive Species
Annual Himalayan Balsam Pulling in the local SSSI, Ladies Spring Wood - 
Saturday 23 July 2022
Three members of the Monday Group and two regulars from Abbeydale Rotary Club set about this year’s attack on Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed in our local SSSI. This regular task is one of the few we have been able to continue through the two years of the pandemic. As a preliminary recce a fortnight earlier had suggested, this year’s crop was neither as prolific nor as advanced in growth as in previous years. Also very few plants were in flower, even though this cull was two weeks later than in 2021. The usual stretch of the River Sheaf was targeted, from Dore Station to the weir, as no growth further downstream had been detected. A combined count of about 850 stems of Himalayan Balsam were uprooted, including some from the west bank of the river, so considerably down on last year’s estimate of around 2000. The situation with Japanese Knotweed was less encouraging, with 21 stems pulled up, and a noticeable patch was also seen, but not uprooted on the far side of the river. Last year we had dealt with only 5 or 6 plants! Thanks to all the volunteers who came along to carry out this vital work for the maintenance of SSSI status for this ancient woodland.

Community Planting Day at Stone Cross Field - 15 February 2022
Toby Pillatt of SCC Forestry Team, led and organised this event, which in spite of the rain and muddy conditions, was great fun, a huge success and seemed to be enjoyed by all.  In addition to familiar faces, it was good to see five members from Abbeydale Rotary Club (in high viz clothing), parents, grandparents, children aged from primary to secondary school, Greener Greenhill and Beauchief Environment Group followers.
The community spirit of sharing anchors the whole sense of purpose. A big thanks to Toby, the supporting team, and to all who managed to come along to help towards creating a more diverse habitat.
Toby instructed us all on how to plant whips properly, which were all native, including hawthorn, holly, elder and field maple, Other planting included a few more established trees, such as the lovely small leaved lime (Tilia cordata) that has lovely, sweet scented flowers before the leaves appear. Other tree whips suitable for wetland including alder, elder and willow were strategically planted, some parallel to the newly planted hedging alongside Beauchief Drive wall, with others further towards the scrape, in the field.
It is hoped that further wetland marginal plants will be added such as grasses, sedges, forget-me-not and yellow flag iris, around the recently formed Scrape, which on cue, had filled up with rainwater. It will be interesting to see how soon beetles, dragonflies and other aquatic species will be spotted.

Autumn Walk on Sunday 17 October 2021
Nine members met up for a lovely early autumn walk following the footpaths through the woodlands. The photo of the group, courtesy of Lindy Stone, was taken by the interpretation board in Ladies Spring Wood.

Beauchief Nature Park – Review
The wildflower meadow continued to flourish this year with flowering perennial species, including red clover, meadow vetchling, tufted vetch, bush vetch, field scabious, black knapweed and yarrow being particularly abundant and wild carrot in the margins. The memorial trees at the edge of meadow dedicated to Ray Morris and Brian Green are growing well and hopefully will bear fruit eventually. The meadow has now been cut by Green Estates; two cuts were necessary as the growth was so prolific.
The rough ground adjacent to the wood store gate has been colonised by bramble, thistle and willow herb. Some wildflower seeds had been scattered over the ground prior to this, but the only species which managed to flower is corn marigold.
Sadly, the water level of the larger of the two ponds adjacent to the Drive dropped dramatically during the summer and has not yet recovered, indicative of a serious leak. The Council is aware of this.
The Monday group cleared vegetation from around the whips in the Woodland Meadow to allow for mowing. Most of the whips are growing well. There is concern about the condition of some of the trees in the orchard; the grass has now been mowed. The paths around the Nature Park are well used and still in good condition
There are plans to have an interpretation board installed at the Nature Park, hopefully sometime in the next new months. Permission has been requested and sources of funding and prices investigated.

Archaeological Dig 
The Archaeology Department of Sheffield University undertook a dig on an area of Beauchief Golf Course close to the Abbey in August. Students working on the dig found a substantial wall and a circular hole that held a wooden post. There were other discoveries that Dr Tim Cockrell revealed in a talk for the Monday group, on Monday 10 January.

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.


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 - Tree Nursery
A small area of ground has been cleared at the Nature Park, so that we have been able to plant some seedlings of native trees gathered locally. When grown to a suitable height they will 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 TOOK PLACE IN 2020 and few in 2021. 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: February - July 2022
Monday 18 July
Very unusually, today's gathering was cancelled because of extreme temperatures.

Monday 11 July

Nine arrived on a very hot morning, and it was clear that light duties were in order. A one-man litter pick was performed on the Drive, yielding not as much as previous times. Three of us went to Beauchief Abbey Lane to trim the hedge by the Golf Course, it was so long, it was difficult to walk on the pavement. The remainder began by the 'Yellow Brick Road' and trimmed the path edges of brambles, nettles and other encroaching growth, which in many places was covering the path. A dead Holly tree was also pruned back as it was in danger of falling on the path. 

Monday 4 July
The thirteen that turned up went to the Nature Park Meadow and pulled, as requested, the docks growing there. There were plenty to pull, but we had enough bodies to clear the whole area. Both Brian’s and Ray's trees looked very healthy, but although Brian's had a good crop of Crab Apples, Ray's had very few Damsons. The Knotweed in the 'Island' has virtually gone now, although we will continue to monitor the situation.

Monday 20 June
Eleven today, worked in two separate groups. Six of us, as previously arranged, met on Stone Cross Field along with Toby Phillatt of the SCC Forestry Dept, and began clearing around and mulching the whips that had been planted in February by Bradway School & Scouts. This proved to be a much larger task than anticipated, with the Mulch running out about the same time as we did. Five returned to the Bramble Patch on Carole's Copse and carried on the work from last week.

Monday 13 June
Twelve turned up today and were ready for the toils that lay ahead. Three of us went straight to Little Wood Bank where three members spent the morning working on the heather patch, which was very overgrown with grass and other vegetation. The encroaching vegetation was removed as far as possible to reveal 27 flourishing heather plants and 3 dead ones, which is consistent with a memory that 30 were planted. We left a healthy bluebell in the patch as it wasn't harming the heather. A lot of broken glass was also removed, although there was no sign of any recent undesirable activity. Of the rest, one of us went off litter picking, while the other eight went to Carole's Copse and carried on clearing the area of encroaching bracken & brambles.

Monday 6 June
There were two tasks for the nine who turned out. Four of us finished rebuilding the tumbled section of wall by Jeff’s Steps. The badgers in Ladies Spring Wood have been very active with their spring cleaning this last week.
Five went to Carol's Copse and were later joined by another. We began by pulling up brambles encroaching onto the copse alongside Ladies Spring Wood and then moved onto a large area further towards the golf course, where whips had been surrounded by brambles, thistles and other vegetation.

Monday 30 May
Eight arrived today on 'Bonus Monday' and two Groups quickly emerged. Three of us went to the wall at the back of the Hall grounds and carried on the repairs. Looks like at least another morning required. The remaining five went to Carol's Copse and cleared around the very healthy looking young trees and cut back the encroaching bracken and brambles.

Monday 23 May
All nine of us went to the Nature Park, to cut around the young trees. We began in the Woodland Meadow, moved on to the Orchard, the Tree Nursery and finished in the Car Park, which needs more doing.
We all commented on the Fruit Trees looking 'fruitful' and even the possibility of some walnuts for the first time. If vetch was a crop, we would have plenty, and it appears the Yellow Rattle is doing its job where it has taken root.
Sadly three Trees have not survived though; should these be removed or left as they are?

Monday 16 May
On what turned into an unexpectedly dry morning, six of us arrived for work. Three went towards Ladies Spring Wood, where a broken step had been reported; this was repaired and general maintenance of the area performed. Three of us renewed a step, restored the cheek-ends and dismantled some tumbledown wall ready for rebuild at Geoff’s Steps, in Ladies Spring Wood. Three went back to John & Jennie Hinton's House and reclaimed more walling stone. Two large Trailer loads were transported. Once again, we took advantage of their very generous hospitality.

Monday 9 May
With ten members turning up today we were able to complete three tasks. One was litter picking and our regular picker was last seen heading into Park Bank Wood, where another group also went to repair some revetments with wood we have recently purchased. Others walked up to the top of Beauchief Drive, where we had been invited to look at a BEG Member's wood and stone store. We were able to identify suitable wood for revetments and steps, together with stone to be used for walling. The wood was transported to the Barn and stone to the top of the Allotments.

Monday 25 April
Eleven of us mustered today and all went into Ladies Spring Wood. Two did some TLC on the walls there, while the others , using the donated wood and stobs, repaired the revetments along the Round Walk. We repaired as much as we could before the wood ran out, but still having a few stobs left, we replaced some of the Long Steps, that had been identified previously. Two short metal trip hazards, on the Round Walk, were also hammered into the ground.
Three of us started to clear the old steps at the corner of the deer park closest to the allotments. Before we attempt to restore them properly (as they would make a great place for a family picnic!) we think we should need to get various agreements from the Council and possibly archaeological societies.

Monday 11 April
Today, nine mustered at the Barn. One went off litter picking and two went to finish the coverband and copes on Abbey/Beauchief Golf Course boundary wall, before joining the others. The rest went to the Round Walk steps that rise up from the bottom of Twentywell Lane and completed the clearing of, what we calculated to be, at least 12 years of debris and encroaching growth. We as a group have not done any maintenance for at least that length of time and apart from a few rotten stobs the steps are in excellent condition.

Monday 4 April
Nine turned up this morning. Three helped with the wall restoration, and continued work on the drystone wall behind the Abbey. Further dismantling was deemed necessary before continuing with the rebuilding. The whole section is almost finished; a little more next week should complete it. Two others attended to the gate on Shene Field; the old damaged gate was removed and the new metal one attached to its hinges - job complete. They then came to join the five path scrapers working towards Twentywell. We examined a problem of seepage from open grass cuttings on the edge of the de la Salle field and branch cuttings from Abbeydale Golf Course falling onto the path there. The final session was on the Long Steps down to the railway though this wasn't completed.

Monday 28 March
A cool start to a bright, sunny morning saw thirteen of us muster at the Barn. Four went to work on another stretch of Abbey Wall while nine went back to Ladies Spring Wood to carry on the clearance work. There is still more to do as there are a lot of areas where the revetment is in need of repair, or replacement where it has simply disappeared. 
Three sections of the dry stone wall behind the Abbey had been identified as needing some attention so four of the group worked on two of those sections. One section was completed but the second section needs another week’s work on it before starting on the third section.

Monday 21 March
The good weather brought out the numbers today with 15 turning up at the Barn. Eight headed towards the Postman's Path with five then replacing five risers on the path up to the Hall before joining the rest of this group clearing mud from the Round Walk, removing overhanging holly branches and resetting some revetments.
The other group headed towards the wall repair near the Abbey, with one setting out on rubbish clearance up Beauchief Drive.
The Shene Field hedge has now been cut (by the Golf Club?)
The van that has been based at the allotment car park for months has now gone though there was quite a bit of rubbish left there
There has been a fire at the base of the holly trees at the Elwood Road end of the path behind the Driving Range, but the damage looked largely superficial.
The group of five had a great morning as they continued rebuilding the wall at the back of the Abbey, and became so absorbed in completing the task that they continued until after 1:00 pm. We completed it! More wall work has been identified for a future Monday.

Monday 14 March
The nine that arrived could be forgiven for thinking that spring had arrived.
Two groups quickly emerged, with the larger going up to behind the Deer Park, where some repairs were needed to a wall. We also began restoring the 'Yellow Brick Road', after we had scraped the steps that separate the path.
The three members of the other group dismantled the tumbled down wall in one corner of the Abbey grounds having first pruned back a large conifer in order to gain access to the wall. The foundation stones have been relaid and the first courses are on the way.

Monday 7 March
Ten arrived this morning and set about three specific tasks. The first two were carried forward from last week.
The deer fence was repaired after the fallen branch had dislodged some of the connections.
The wall below it was finished, and a large piece of metal removed from the area , which had become a trip hazard.
The steps up to the deer fence were repaired in two places.
Some of us had a look at the fence on the Cobble Path, and all agreed some work is needed. We have some large metal rods in the Barn that could be used to stake it upright, but before that, a large amount of vegetation needs to be removed.

Monday 28 February
Twelve of us mustered today and set about more tasks than we have tackled any previous morning.
Litter picking - Judging by the amount left by the barn door, a productive morning.
An oak sapling had been donated, which was planted in Carol's Copse
A tree branch had fallen on to the Deer Park fence where the repairs had taken place last year. This was removed and some minor damage was noted. This will be revisited with the correct tools.
A rhododendron 'tree' had been uprooted at the back of the De La Salle fields, blocking the path. This was pruned and pushed away from the path.
A wall in High Wood was repaired.
The 'Yellow Brick Road' was given some maintenance.
A further wall in that area was also repaired.
After clearing the two Trees, a group of four went around the Hall Path, clearing mud from the worst bits, before finishing at the Cobbled Path to remove mud and associated debris from the Cobbles.
It was noted the metal fence is starting to lean, in places , towards the path. Not sure who owns that stretch, either Hall or DLS I would think. One part does need serious attention. 


Monday 14 February
On a cool and damp morning ten members turned up for work. Three went to the Abbey Pond to clear the grill area of leaves and branches after the recent gales. Unfortunately leaf decomposition made this a rather unpleasant olfactory experience! The remaining seven headed to John's Steps where four replacement risers were inserted and the path scraped.  After coffee on Ray's bench (where, incidentally, there is a very interesting fungal growth all the way round the edges of the seat - mini bracket fungi?) five headed to the Cobble Path to start clearance and scraping.

Monday 7 February
A lot of tasks were accomplished today by the ten that arrived. We were informed a large tree had fallen over the weekend and was blocking the Nature Park path. We used only loppers and bow saws but got the job done within the hour. The wind had broken the top half off the tree, and dumped it right across the path. The High Wood path was visited again and scraped of mud and associated debris. Three Steps by the Westwick entrance were also replaced.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2022 - Saturday 11th February 2022 at Greenhill Library
Eighteen members attended this year's AGM, which was again held at Greenhill Library after a break of two years due to the Covid-19 restrictions. The evening opened with the formal AGM proceedings.
The minutes of the 2020 AGM, held just before the lockdown, had been circulated and were approved. Damage to grass verges continues to be an issue. The Family Fun Day planned for Spring 2020 unfortunaely had to be cancelled.

The Chair, Diana, announced that Susan Hocking and Trudi Parsons had resigned from Committee membership and thanked them for their many years of hard work and support. She then went through the year month by month, though without showing photographs of working sessions and wildlife pictures, as these will form the subject of a later Social Evening (Saturday 8th October). Most of the last two year's activities have been undertaken by the Monday Group. Sheffield City Council’s ban on the use of machinery such as mowers and hedge cutters has made a lot of the group’s tasks much more difficult; but we are getting limited help from an SCC Ranger. Additional members to bring new ideas to the committee would be welcomed.
The Treasurer presented the audited accounts that had been circulated before the meeting. Our new independent examiner, Kay Rollings, is a BEG member, who commented that as in recent times, expenditure had exceeded income, a continuation of this trend would result in the group running out of money. The treasurer is investigating the option of transferring the bank account to Lloyds Bank following the recent introduction of charges by Virgin Money. Thanks were expressed to the independent examiner and to the treasurer, and the Accounts accepted.
The Secretary reported that membership numbers had fallen slightly. Thanks were expressed to all who hand-deliver the Newsletters; and to the Chairman for all her hard work, especially on the Newsletter. Contributions from members are always welcome. 

The group’s officers, and the present committee were willing to continue and were re-elected en bloc. 
It is intended to plant a semi-mature tree such as a lime in the nature park to mark the Platinum Jubilee, and it was suggested that SCC might donate one in return for our help. It was noted some trees in the orchard have died.
Afterwards a bring-and-share supper with wine, soft drinks and coffee, was enjoyed and there was plenty of time to chat. 

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE 2022
Diana Holland (Chairman), Carol Behagg (Secretary), Gavin Johns (Treasurer), Michael Gagan (Website and publicity), John Gilbert (Committee Meeting Chair), Jennie Hinton, David Hunt, Jonathan Smith.

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