Beauchief Environment Group
bluebell woods
Beauchief Environment Group News & Events

Monday 10 September: HAYMAKING on Little Wood Bank
This session will be led by the Monday group instead of on a Saturday as in previous years. All BEG members welcome. Lots of help is needed for this vital annual maintenance task. 
Meet: Monday group at the barns 9.30 am to collect equipment. Additional helpers meet at the steps by the Abbeydale Golf Club Service area on Beauchief Drive 10.00 am. Please bring your own refreshments on this occasion. 

Saturday 22 September: Fungus Walk
An 1-2 hour early autumn walk led by Michael Senkans (Ziggy) Biodiversity Officer with  the City Ecology Unit, taking in woodlands, hedgerows and meadows.
Meet:  11.00 at Beauchief Abbey.

Saturday 6 October: WORKING MORNING: at Beauchief Nature Park Orchard and Meadow, off Beauchief Drive.
We aim to prepare the ground and sow Yellow Rattle seeds. Yellow Rattle is an annual species which takes nutrient from grass roots, restricting their growth which allows other less dominant wild flower species to flourish. 
Meet: 9.30 am at the barns to collect tools or at the Nature Park to join in. Refreshments provided.

Also of interest?
Sunday 9 September:  Greenhill Library – Farmers and Artisan Market: Food and crafts from local producers. 10 am to 4 pm – 

The next Committee Meeting will be held on Monday 1st October 2018. Please use the telephone numbers in the right hand column if there is an issue you would like to have discussed at the meeting, or if you are interested in joining the Committee.

The Monday Working Group meets every Monday morning at 9.30 am to undertake a large variety of tasks. They usually meet at Beauchief Abbey Barns. Everyone is welcome, so if you are interested in joining this regular session please telephone 0114 236 9876 for details of the work planned on the following Monday.

Subscriptions fall due at the end of December. Please complete a form and send your subscription and/or donation to Hon Treasurer BEG, 67 Glen View Road, Sheffield S8 7SG. Please make your cheque or postal order payable to “Beauchief Environment Group”.  A form can be downloaded from this website

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

Seven members picked litter from all around the area. This additional working morning had been scheduled because we expected there would be a lot to collect as the weather had been so dry and warm and it was school holidays. However, we were surprised and pleased to find there was much less than anticipated. By 11 am we had finished and had coffee. Thanks to all for doing a good job.

The Nature Park meadow is in its fourth year and Carol Behagg and Diana Holland carried out a brief survey of the species in flower not including the grasses before the annual cut. Growth has once again been prolific, as one might expect on a fertile site, and is beginning to look like a “proper” wildflower meadow. The perennial wildflower species are now well established but with the odd annual also present. 

Species noted and their relative abundance in the meadow:

Yarrow (white and pink): abundant/widespread; Wild carrot: frequent; Field scabious: frequent; Ox-eye daisy frequent; Bird’s foot trefoil abundant/widespread; Common sorrel widespread; Lady’s bedstraw occasional; Bush vetch common/widespread; Tufted vetch frequent/widespread; Meadow vetchling occasional; Red clover common/widespread; Great willowherb frequent/localized; Hogweed occasional; Common ragwort occasional; Spear thistle occasional; Black knapweed frequent/widespread; Nettle leaved bell flower 1 specimen; Corncockle rare; Cornflower rare; Common mallow 1 specimen; Meadow cranesbill 1 specimen; Common dock present but much reduced.


BALSAM BASH. SATURDAY 30th JUNE 2018 – Ladies Spring Wood 

On another burning hot day, it was lovely and cool in Ladies Spring Wood, when seven of us carried out our annual cull of the invasive species Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed. One was a non-member, who had seen the event advertised somewhere, and another an Environmental Conservation student home for the vacation from Aberystwyth University. Unfortunately for them, as well as for us, the Balsam almost failed to make an appearance. Compared with the many thousand stems we pulled up in 2017, we barely reached 250 this year. We could not tell whether this was due to the strange weather conditions earlier in the year or to our magnificent effort last year in eradicating almost all the plants before seeding. A follow up sweep in about a month’s time would be a sensible further precaution. We did however take up 15 single Knotweed stems, and identified a well-established clump on the railway side of the River Sheaf, which will need dealing with if we are not to find increasing numbers on our side in later years. Thanks to all who came. 


On a splendid sunny afternoon eleven people, including two young girls and a well-behaved dog, met at Beauchief Abbey for a walk through the area to look at, photograph and record the wild flowers we found. We started by seeing what we could find in the small field area behind the barns and then in the hedgerows up Beauchief Drive. We were well rewarded with our finds which included a few rarities in the area including white bryony and bittersweet. Then on to Gulleys Wood Meadow where the buttercups, yellow rattle, heath bedstraw and pignut were flowering profusely. There were lots of species in flower at the Nature Park and the "new" meadow including some unexpected ones such as Meadow Cranesbill. The wild roses were especially beautiful and we were delighted to find ripe wild strawberries which we had no hesitation in sampling. It was a lovely afternoon out, in good company with over 60 species recorded not including the grasses, although some were at the end of their flowering period. Sadly, the list of species identified is too long to be included here but the list has been saved for our records. 

Friday 16 March: Nature Park Seed Sowing
Three weeks after “The Beast from the East,” snow and a lot of rain, the weather was much improved and on a sunny afternoon a mix of wild flower seed was able to be sown. The seeds had been gathered from the annuals grown in the Nature Park meadow in the previous couple of years plus some extra poppy bought separately. An area of verge in front of the orchard had been turned over before Christmas. This was given a final going over before raking in the seeds. Next, the meadow where there was an abundance of mole hills which, after raking, were good places for annual wild flower species to germinate. Annual species germinate and flourish in disturbed ground and fare poorly where perennial species dominate. Hopefully, in these spaces they will germinate and grow tall enough to compete with the surrounding meadow species and give an additional splash of colour in the summer. However, the very next day the snow and cold weather returned, but with any luck many of the seeds will still be viable.

Saturday 24 February: Working Morning in the Nature Park
Following advice to remove some weed from the largest pond on the Nature Park, four members worked on this task with pond rakes and a grapple. There was a thin skin of ice on the water but this posed no hindrance to the job. The removed weed was left close to the pond edge to allow any creatures an easy return to the water. The work only took a fairly short time so we had a walk around the perimeter of the site, enjoying warm sunshine and taking in the new path which was a first visit for a couple of us. It was very cold and two had to retire to their cars to get warm. Afterwards we walked in warm sunshine around both sides of the allotments and returned e with a large bag of rubbish.

Saturday 25 November: Working Morning in the Nature Park
On a very cold morning seven people turned out to do a few jobs at the Nature Park. Lots of mulch was applied to the bases of the whips planted around the wood store and car park perimeters to help keep the weeds in check. Some whips had grown considerably and did not need to be mulched. A group of three dug over an area of verge by the orchard for planting wild flower seed. This was rather hard work as tough grass had taken over where wild flowers grew last year. We were surprised to find that there were numerous mole hills in the meadow so we used the exposed, fine soil as places to sow some more annual wild flowers - poppy, cornflower, corn marigold, and corn cockle. Two others collected a large quantity of litter from in and around the site, including a pair of brown corduroy trousers! We were glad of the hot coffee as most of us had cold hands.

Saturday 21 October: General tasks in the BEG area
On a fine morning, albeit with rain threatening later, six members undertook various tasks as follows: hedge clippings left by Beauchief Abbey ponds were cleared up and disposed of; litter collected from Beauchief Drive and the Nature Park; hedge trimmings and grass cuttings removed from Gulleys Wood Meadow; some yellow rattle seed was scattered on the Nature Park meadow and a start was made on removing rank vegetation alongside the track by the orchard prior to preparing a bed for wild flower seed. A pile of grass cuttings left at the edge of the orchard was also removed. There only being six of us, there was lots of coffee and biscuits for us. During the morning we had two separate sightings of buzzards, four in total and a sparrowhawk calling and flying over the trees at the Nature Park.

Saturday 23 September – Annual haymaking, Little Wood Bank 
Unfortunately because the turnout of helpers was inadequate this important task could not be completed. The Monday group finished the job.

Thursday 17 August - MOTH WATCH – Beauchief Abbey grounds
Setting an advance date for a moth watch can be frustrating due to being at the mercy of the weather. However, on the night of the 17th it was just right for our moth watch, being fairly warm and still. Richard Harris of the City Ecology Unit set up the moth trap which consisted of a very bright ultra-violet light inside a special box with sloping glass inserts, and as it was growing dark twelve people turned up. It didn’t take long for the moths to be attracted and identified by Richard, and gradually more and more arrived – and so did the midges!. It was fascinating to see the variety of species found, and just how beautiful they are but so often overlooked. We were able to inspect them closely with a hand lens and saw their colours and patterns clearly. We also saw a few bats and the silhouette of a heron flying low over the trees. We also heard an owl. It turned out to be a very enjoyable evening and an unusual and rewarding experience for those who had not joined in a moth watch before. As we all sat round the trap, on the benches which had been provided, we were treated to mugs of coffee/tea and cake which Pam and Sue carried out to us in the dark from the Abbey. It was a very late finish but no one seemed to notice the time.
This is the preliminary list of the species identified – More may be added later after identification from the photos taken. 
Large Yellow Underwing, Straw Dot, Water Veneer, Brimstone moth, Thorn?, Flame Shoulder, 
Grass Veneer, Sp Underwing, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Mother of Pearl. Cream Wave? 
Willow Beauty, Common Carpet, Flame Carpet, Common Footman, August?

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: January - August 2018
Monday 20 August
On a balmy morning eight of us remained in the Abbey area and having checked for any signs of nesting Birds, we trimmed the Hedge between the Middle & Lower Ponds. The Grills were also checked and cleared where necessary, debris including a broken Micro Scooter was removed from the Middle Pond. 

Monday 13 August
Nine members turned up at the Bradway Driving Range footpath on a dry and largely sunny morning.  Armed with mower, scythe, sickles, and shears the overhanging vegetation was cleared and then raked so that the whole path from Bradway Road to the Triangulation Point was clear of obstructions.  Some flowering rosebay willow herbs were also removed to prevent seeding. The fire affected area above the Little Wood Bank meadow was investigated.  It was decided to have a session on that in winter and burn some of the dead gorse branches and singed overhanging vegetation.

Monday 6 August
Nine members this week on a warm and humid morning. One went in search of any developing Himalayan Balsam on the banks of the Sheaf and the rest of us headed to Shene Field. The field side of the Beauchief Drive hedge was trimmed for its full length and now looks very tidy. The grass is quite lengthy now and most flowers have seeded. On our return to Bradway we noticed Gulley's Meadow had been mow and that the grass had been dumped by Alan Booth's seat. Tom has also replaced the damaged gate as circulated by Bob Parkinson.

A careful search along the banks of the Sheaf yielded 184 Balsam plants that had either escaped our notice last month, or had not developed by then. A large flourishing colony, more than 60 plants, was found beside the weir pond, which was now accessible due to the low level of water in the river. Many of the rest were in poor condition or had not flowered. More disturbingly there were 18 stems of Knotweed, sometimes in little groups of two or three, though none had grown to more than 8-10 leaves tall. I think we have now cracked the Balsam problem for this year. Let’s hope that there will be even fewer in 2019.

Monday 30 July
Thirteen people turned up today. Three people completed the cutting of the Abbey hedge - job finished.Two people mended the gate into Gulley Wood Meadow and then joined the other group.Six people cleared the rest of the car park whips and cleared the car park of weeds. Oneperson cleared the new laid path round the allotments, and one person cleared the new path on the other side of the allotments.

Monday 23 July
On what was described as an energy sapping morning, seven of us went to the Nature Park. We removed the plastic covering on the Knotweed so the treatment can take place. The Car Park was covered in Ragwort, which we removed; none of the Ragwort had reached the seeding stage. The whips planted in the Car Park were overgrown with Grass & Weeds, so we cleared some of them to aid growth. The edges of the path to the left was cleared of growth, as its use was becoming impaired.

Monday 16 July
On a very humid morning, thirteen turned up for duty. Our resident Litter picker had an arduous task as the weather has brought out the litter droppers. Nine went to the open Meadow on Little Wood Bank and cleared it of Rose Bay Willow Herb before it seeded, along with Brambles and 32 Moor View Golf Balls. Three remained at the Barn and removed the lower branches of the four cherry trees in the small field between the Barns and Beauchief Drive.  We then cut back the nettles growing along the wall of the barns and took everything away to leave a tidy finish.

Monday 9 July
On a cloudy morning for a change, working conditions were much more comfortable as nine members and a visitor went to Gulley's Meadow.  Blackthorn expansion into the field was trimmed back as well as on the Beauchief Drive side of the hedge.  Rosebay willowherb alongside the edges of the meadow was cut prior to seeding and removed and a little mowing alongside the woodland was done to encourage the farmer to mow the meadow a little bit wider than has been done in past years.

Monday 2 July
On another very warm day, thirteen members arrived for duty. Three of us went to Hutcliffe Wood to work on the Steps. The rest transported the Mower and various Tools up the Drive and worked in the Ladies Spring & High Wood area. The path around the Hall was mowed [again], a Revetment replaced and Brambles removed from the path side.

Monday 25 June
On the hottest Monday this year, eight went to the Nature Park. We carried on clearing the Docks from the Meadow avoiding pulling out the Sorrel. The plastic sheets covering the Knotweed were adjusted, as there was evidence of growth coming out of the sides. We also checked the Shrubs we planted around the 'Island' and they are flourishing even with the competition they face. An Oak Branch had fallen across the nearby steps which was cleared away. Using the Brash Cutter, some of the Saplings around the metal fence were given some freedom to grow. 

Monday 18 June
Eight members appeared for work today. The first job was to unload the timber that Tom Collier had brought - revetment lengths, stobbs and some fence posts. We then headed to the Wild Flower meadow where we had been asked to remove as many of the seeding docks as possible. A start was made on this with the seedheads being dumped near the wood chippings at the top of the nursery. We did have a dilemma over whether sorrel should be included in the cull or just docks. A few protruding stumps were removed from the new path around the allotments and there was some trimming around the saplings in that area to help their growth. The song of a whitethroat was heard.  Corncockle are now in flower in the meadow as well as the more expected plants.  The knotweed is apparent on the edge of the cleared area in the centre.

Monday 11 June
Only six members were available this morning.  One did some litter picking along Beauchief Drive before joining the rest of us at the Community Orchard. The main task was to clear grass from the bases of the fruit trees. This was achieved, though affected by the heavy shower that started just before coffee.  One member went to the stone wall near the well (Gulley's Wood Meadow) to return the capping stones to the wall.  How long they will stay there remains to be seen. With the recent warmth and rain, grass growth is now substantial so further trimming around the fruit trees and hedgerow saplings will have to continue.

Monday 4 June
With thirteen members present we split into three groups, one group heading to Abbeydale Hamlet where the paving slabs were finished.  About 25 slabs around the main quadrangle have been replaced and/or reset over the four visits and this task is now complete as far as we set out to do. Eight members headed to the Bradway Driving Range the mower being carried in Dave's car to speed things up.  The grass growth on both sides of the path was cleared between Bradway Road and the Trig Point using the mower, scythe, shears and brash cutter to leave a very neat and tidy pathway.  Whilst in the area two of us cleared some of the debris from around the seat above the Gorse Patch, bagged it and took it to the bin by Sainsbury's from where we hope it will be removed. New bracken shoots were removed from the woodland glade on Little Wood Bank, by the rebuilt stile. Our final member headed off litter picking.

Monday  21 May
Ten members turned up at the Barn on a hot, sunny day. Three headed to the Hamlet where they continued with resetting some of the paving slabs. It is very slow work because of the concrete base so plan to return on June 4th. One member went to put in two more steps at the top of the Abbey Lane end ascent between the new cycle/walk track and the Hutcliffe Wood top path. The remaining members headed to the Community Orchard where we mowed the edges of the older and new tracks surrounding the allotments. Dense vegetation was cut from around the saplings planted last year. The saplings around the car park and storage area are looking very healthy but those planted at the top of the new track are struggling; perhaps they could do with a downpour.


Monday 14 May
Eleven of us braved the warm, dry Spring morning today, T Shirts & Shorts, for some, instead of Waterproofs and multiple layers.Three Groups went their various ways.Four to the Hamlet to continue replacing/repairing the Footpath slabs. We were informed that from June 4th, Chris Keady will replace Nell as Volunteer Coordinator; he will be responsible for the Hamlet & Kelham Island. Four to mow the edges of the path around the back of the Hall from the top of the Cobble Path right round to the Nettle Patch. Three  went to Hutcliffe Wood to continue replacing the steps.

Monday 30 April
Eleven members turned up this morning; one at Hutcliffe Wood and the rest at the Barn. Equipment was transported to the Hutcliffe Wood path where two steps were inserted to complete last week's work near Hutcliffe Wood Road and another added at the Abbey Lane end. It was estimated that there was still quite a lot of steps required to complete the work.
The remainder of the Group managed to get both mowers working at the Barn though the control mechanism of the new mower was partially dismantled. Efforts by our engineers restored it to working order. The meadow area of the Community Orchard was mown and grass strewn on the adjacent wilderness. Grass and weeds were cut around the hedge saplings surrounding the wood storage area and the car park and they do now look very healthy apart from one or two specimens. We were concerned about the prospects of only two cuts per year of the orchard grass. From the amount of growth that had already taken place since March, it will be a jungle by September and well beyond our equipment's capacity to cope with it. Is it an area of biodiversity or a Community Orchard?

Monday 23 April
After recent weeks with large numbers of volunteers, this week only six appeared. The original plan had been to work on the flagstones in the Hamlet but on investigating further the task was much greater than anticipated and few members could work on the path at the same time. As a result two stayed at the Hamlet and bedded down, then cemented, eight of the flagstones, after extensive preparatory work. Another member turned up after a litter picking session on the Cobble Path and onto Twentywell Lane.The other three members headed to Hutcliffe Wood where work on the steps started as shown in the accompanying pictures. Four steps were completed but another couple are required in due course.

Monday 16 April
On a fine Spring morning, 9 of us went to the Nature Park to clear the Paths, at the top , of mud and then layer them with Wood Chippings. We also removed 3 sheets [yes I know] of Corrugated Iron, which is now in the Car Park with other metal waste. Two others cleared the Golf Course ponds of debris to allow a free flow of water. Plenty of frog and toad activity in the Nature Park's middle pond. Frogs and possibly toads also swimming around and clear evidence of both their spawn. We also checked the orchard's trees and all but the three that were damaged by the Deer look healthy.

Monday 9 April
A Baker's Dozen met today on a fine, warm Spring morning. Our Hutcliffe Wood representative went over there to clear a muddy path , near to where the Rangers were working. Two went to the Cobbled Path and swept the Autumn debris from it, as well scraping the mud off the path at the Drive end, they collected litter also from the area of the path. As it was clear of Animals, the rest went to Shene Field to carry on the bramble clearing.

Monday 26 March
With the welcome return of spring-like weather fourteen members turned up at the Barn. With such numbers we split into two sections with one group going to the Long Steps in Park Bank Wood where Sue had reported some steps needing attention. Six new risers were put in place and three side pieces. The remaining four headed to Pam's Patch where further clearance of brash took place. Two members started clearing the footpath of mud and leaf litter on Beauchief Drive but after a chat with a friendly motorised street cleaner he drove along the footpath to clear it more quickly (though not as effectively as we would have done).

Monday 5 March
Fourteen again this week, although a slightly different mix, went to Little Wood Bank to carry on with the Holly clearance. The previous week's snow was still very evident, but considerably it was warmer than it has been recently.

Monday 26 February
Fourteen members reported for work this morning despite the somewhat chilly conditions. Two headed to Shene Field to continue dealing with the brambles, two went to the Recreation Ground in Bradway to replace a bench top and then, on completion, went to join the rest of the group clearing holly in Little Wood Bank. This is part of our management plan for that area and the amount of holly growth has got out of hand leading to competition with the main oak standards. We plan to have one more session on this next week before the nesting season starts.

Monday 19 February
Twelve of us met today, with three going to Park Bank Wood to clear the remainder of the Mud from the Path, with the remainder going to Shene Field. As arranged Angus (in his role as Biodiversity Officer) met us in Shene at 10.00 am, and we began removing brambles, holly & wild rose. Angus marked a number of trees that require pruning/felling to help open up the area. The bramble patches will require more attention when time allows.

Monday 12 February
Snow, ice & a cold wind did not deter four of us turning up today. As planned we went to Little Wood Bank to begin clearing the Holly from the base of the Oak Trees. With this number we were limited in what we could achieve, but we certainly made our presence felt. We sighted a flock [12 ?] of Siskins at the top of the Drive.

Monday 5 February
Ten of us, under guidance from Sue & Carol, went to Park Bank Wood to clear the paths of copious amounts of mud & leaves. There is still work to be done and we may return next week. Sighting - a flock of Redwings at the top of Park Bank Wood near the Crawshaw entrance.

Monday 25 January
Eleven in total today with various tasks to complete. Our regular but necessary Litter pick took place in the area. A small group went to do three urgent tasks: i) Clear an area in the Snowdrop Wood, so the path can be easily diverted due to the large fallen tree; ii) Survey the burnt seat near the Gorse Patch to ascertain what is required. When the Job is done, we may replace a nearby rotted one also; iii) Cut up a large Branch blocking the path, near Twentywell Lane. The rest, joined by the others later, carried on laying Wood Chippings on the MGP. This task is now complete for now, but it will require regular maintenance during Spring & Summer.

Monday 15 January
Ten members defied today's forecast and went back to the Monday Group Path. Two groups formed, one carrying on from last week, the other starting from the Car Park began to work towards the others. Well before Coffee time we broke through and the two ends met. There is now a complete Path on that side of the Nature Park. We now need to 'smooth ' it off with Wood Chippings, a job we started, but the promised Rain did arrive eventually bringing work to a finish for the day.

Monday 8 January
We started today with eleven, but after the Break, a chap called Dan joined us, asking to volunteer. He may return next week to join BEG and become a regular of the Group. Two of us initially went over to the Westwick side to chop up a fallen tree, which was blocking the path, before joining the others. We have threatened to begin the new Nature Park Path and today those threats turned into reality. We made more progress than we had imagined and hopefully will complete well before January is at an end.
This is a new Path being cut & hacked from dense undergrowth so have decided to call it the Monday Group Path or MGP.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018 - Saturday 11th February 2018 at Greenhill Library
The AGM was again held at Greenhill Library after last year's sucess; 30 members attended. The evening opened with the formal AGM proceedings. The minutes of the 2017 AGM were approved and the Chair, Diana, presented her report of the year’s work in the form of a PowerPoint presentation of photographs taken throughout the year of working mornings and other events. Trevor Marshall of the Monday group had again produced a separate presentation illustrating their work with a musical accompaniment; both presentations were enjoyed by those present. As usual a vary varied programme of tasks has been carried out in Gulleys Wood Meadow, Shene Field and the Nature Park, as well as in the woodland areas. A bench has now been erected on the Nature Park to the memory of Ray Morris. The audited accounts were circulated and in the absence of the Hon Treasurer, the Secretary presented the Financial Statement. The Treasurer had said that any questions relating to the accounts could be put to him later. On his recommendation the accounts were accepted and the auditor, who audits the accounts free of charge, was asked to continue. . The Treasurer proposed that our accounting year move from 1st October - 30th September to 1st January - 31st December. For this financial year only we would report our accounts from 1st October 2017 to 31st December 2018.
The Secretary gave thanks to the Chairman for all her work, particularly the preparation of the newsletter and also to the newsletter distributors.
The group’s officers were willing to continue and were reelected en bloc as were the committee members. Jonathan Smith offered to join the committee from the floor, and his offer was accepted.
Pam Hodgson (for Beauchief Abbey) thanked the Monday Group for the work done on Pam’s Patch. This has still not been signed over and SCC will continue to mow here until this happens.
The meeting was told that Nell Farrell, our contact at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, has a new job and is leaving.
Afterwards we had an excellent bring-and-share supper with wine, soft drinks and coffee, and there was plenty of time to chat. This was a another successful AGM evening, and the library again proved to be a most agreeable venue.


Diana Holland (Chairman), Carol Behagg (Secretary), Gavin Johns (Treasurer), Michael Gagan (Website and publicity), John Gilbert (Committee Meeting Chair), Jennie Hinton, Sue Hocking, David Hunt, Trudy Parsons, Jonathan Smith.

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