Beauchief Environment Group
bluebell woods
   
         
         
 
Beauchief Environment Group News & Events

DIARY of EVENTS

The Monday Working Group has now recommenced working mornings from Monday 28 March (not Easter Monday!) under the new Covid-19 restrictions. Lockdowns imposed in November, and again in early January, had a considerable impact on the work BEG has been able to do, but we are hoping that a full range of repair and maintainance activites will now be possible.

Committee Meeting are now held at about six-week intervals on Zoom. the next meeting will be held on Wednesday 28 April. 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
SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2021 ARE NOW DUE. IF YOU HAVE STILL NOTPAID A SUB FOR 2021 PLEASE CONTACT THE TREASURER, TO ENSURE CONTINUING DELIVERIES OF THE BEG NEWSLETTER.

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.

ENVIRONMENT WEEKS EVENT
Sunday 6th June: “Beautiful Beauchief”
A Spring walk through the Beauchief area to look at wildlife in the woods, hedgerows and meadows. An opportunity to see the environmental work undertaken by Beauchief Environment Group, possibly including a visit to Beauchief Abbey. Dogs on lead only, stout footwear recommended.
Time: 2.00 – 3.30 pm approx Meet: Outside Beauchief Abbey, Beauchief Abbey Lane.
All will be welcome but may not be suitable for very young children. Please note that the event may need to be cancelled or postponed if restrictions on outdoor gatherings are still in place.


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.

BRADWAY FUN DAY: SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2019
BEG had a table at the Fun Day displaying photos of the area and the work we do. Lots of people came to talk about the Group and take a leaflet. We hope to do the same again next year.

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)


ANNUAL ATTACK ON NON-NATIVE SPECIES. SATURDAY 22nd JUNE 2019 – Ladies Spring Wood 
Three determined ‘balsam bashers set out on this annual task, following the River Sheaf from its emergence under the railway by Dore and Totley Station to the beginning of the cliff face that drops down from the Beauchief Golf Course practice area. Most plants are found along the riverbank, and near to inland pools and damp areas made wet this year by recent heavy rains. Our efforts in 2017, when we pulled up well over 1000 stems, were still having an effect, as we only found about 260 stems of Himalayan Balsam – very similar to last year’s count. The difference was that several stems were very large, with some standing over 2 metres tall. Surprisingly they were not yet in flower. Only six single stems of Japanese Knotweed were found above the weir. As in previous years, only six of the stems of Balsam were found below the weir, but there was a small clump of knotweed there too. Many thanks to our three volunteers, who ensured that the SSSI is largely clear of these invasive species for another year

ENVIRONMENT WEEK WALK – WEDNESDAY 8 MAY 2019
Light rain persisted for the whole of the day scheduled for our event and the walk was looking very doubtful. Four BEG members turned up at 6.30 pm to see if anyone would come, as it was not possible to let people know if it was cancelled. By then it was only drizzling and two people arrived, so it was decided to carry on. The Abbey had been opened for us and we all had a look round before starting the walk. We went up through the Nature Park to High and Ladies Spring Woods explaining BEG’s work to our visitors en route. It turned out to be a very pleasant walk, and even in the gloom the bluebells were looking magnificent. It didn’t seem to matter there being no sun as the young leaves on the trees in Ladies Spring Wood appeared to glow and gave it a unique and romantic, mysterious feel. We had a look by the badger sett and down the “postman’s path” steps to the interpretation board, and then back, chatting all the way. Although the weather was not perfect we didn’t get very wet and were treated to non-stop bird song throughout. Our visitors said how much they enjoyed being out with us and we hope to see them again sometime.

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: January - March 2020; July 2020 - January 2021
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the Monday Group ceased all group activity after Monday 16 March until Monday 12 July. Since then the group has met regularly under Council agreed conditions until Monday 4 January, when lockdown was again imposed. The Group has begun work again with permission form the Council from Monday 18 March.

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.

Monday 28 September
A total of fourteen of us today. Six went direct to the Abbey Wall, and not only carried on with the repair but identified further work needed that should keep them busy for the next few weeks. Four to the De La Salle Wall and clear progress is being made. Four to the Nature Park Car Park and finished clearing around the whips. Each Whip is now clear of growth around it and a Metre gap created between each one and the growth behind it. It looks very much neater than a few weeks ago. 

Monday 21 September
Eleven turned out today, including a new member to the Team [Annie]. A 4-4-3 formation was quickly established as follows: Four members of the group continued rebuilding the dry stone wall behind the Abbey; Four went to the De La Sale Wall to carry on the work started last week; and the other three went to the Nature Park, and commenced clearing around the Car Park Whips. A report had been made that a stump was protruding in the centre of the Monday Group Path, creating a trip hazard. A large number of hits with the Mattock removed it.

Monday 14 September
It is almost Autumn, yet today was like a mid-Summer's morning for the ten that arrived. Four of the group continued rebuilding the dry-stone wall near the Abbey. We may have to take it back further at one side as the adjoining part is not particularly stable. One member also cut back saplings and vegetation that was encroaching onto the walls of the Abbey.
One of us went down the Twentywell path trimming off some of the longer beech hedge shoots but spending more time on working through the bracken, nettles and brambles on the other side of the path, right down to Twentywell Lane.  Hopefully the gardener will finish off the job in due course with his power hedge trimmer but it isn't too bad now
The remaining four went to the Wall on the De La Salle playing fields which is in serious need of repair as the Photo shows. We began clearing the area and will carry this work on for the next few weeks.
The three-weekly Monday morning litter picker found quite a lot of litter, in particular round the Abbey ponds and the allotments roadside car park. In all 2/3 of a black sack, 6 bottles and 7 cans. Prize item - a discarded back-pack!

Monday 7 September
Nine members turned up at the Barn and fortunately two did have a key as several of our key owners were absent. One group of three continued with the wall in the Abbey grounds in Bill's absence The other group of six worked on the hedges between the ponds and then into the Abbey lawn where the hedge was still untidy.

Monday 27 August
A fine, warm day brought eleven to the Barn today. Four went to the Abbey Wall and continued with the repair. A lot of litter that had accumulated much around the Abbey Ponds was collected. Six initially began pruning the roadside hedge above the Barn, but soon realised it was not really in need of much work, so then went to the Nature Park Car Park and cleared around the Whips. Good to see that so many of the trees/bushes are now maturing.  

Monday 17 August
With eight arriving today, it was easy to split into two Groups. Three went to the Abbey Wall and carried on with the repair. It had been mooted that a stone seat could be incorporated into the gap but now having worked on it, the team are convinced this is not a good idea as it is too close to a golf tee, with the obvious danger to users. Five trimmed the hedge around the outside of the Abbey by hand, and also the hedge on Beauchief Abbey Lane. Apart from looking neater, this allows pedestrians to get closer to the edge when large vehicles are passing.

Monday 10 August
On a very warm Morning eleven of us arrived at the Barn and we split into 4 4 3 formation.
The three went to the broken dry-stone wall in the Abbey grounds and began the dismantling prior to the reconstruction. We
 stripped out the fallen wall between Abbey cemetery and golf course. We discovered the reasons for its demise were poor foundations and lack of hearting at the base - aggravated by sycamore growth and folk sitting on it during lockdown.

The fours went separately to Gulleys Meadow and pruned the top hawthorne hedge and removed blackthorn suckers and rosebay willow herb from around the Golf Club hedge. It is hoped we may get the Golf Club to mow the Meadow for us. Although when you compare it to Shene or the Nature Park, the growth is surprisingly low.

Monday 20 July
Our first working morning since March 16th, saw ten of the group turn out. Keeping to the Risk Assessment, we went in separate groups to the Nature Park 
Group 1 - Began removing Docks from the Wild Flower Meadow , so the Seeds do not get included in the mowings. A much larger job than we thought and we will return next week. One member went to the Nursery, and cleared around the Whips, to allow Sunlight to get to them.
Group 2 - Bob reports- 4 of us cleared round those whips we could locate in the Woodland Meadow area of the Nature Park (we may have lost some in the jungle !), then removed dock flower heads on the track between the nurseries and round the car park. We also removed most, but not all, the ragwort in the car park – we found cinnabar moth caterpillars on 1 plant only.


Monday 16 March
Thirteen of us turned out today and we all went to the Nature Park, where we began preparing and mowing the area on which the Fun Day was to be held in May. We also cleared vegetation surrounding the Whips round the Wood Store, giving them a better chance to flourish. More chippings were put on the Monday Group Path, in the muddier areas. Some drainage was dug into the other path, where the recent rains had taken their toll. 

Monday 9 March
Ten of us went to the Nature Park today where we cleared around the whips in the car park, giving them a bit more space to develop and put some mulch around the newer/weaker ones; and put wood chippings on the muddy patches of the Monday Group path. 

Monday 2 March
Fourteen in total today. Nine stayed in in our traditional area and five went the Hamlet to finish the job started last week. At the Hamlet, we managed to remove the two trunks and roots from the area, with some brute force needed at times, and dug the six holes for the replacement fruit trees. Nine of us we were left over after the Hamlet team disappeared. We decided to head to Little Wood Bank to improve the drainage on the path there.  Some of the blue plastic tubing was put in, a few drainage channels put in across the path and the path scraped.  The rest of us removed some more holly but you can describe it as tidying up what we cut a fortnight ago. 

Monday 24 February
We were reliably informed that by 8 am we had already had 8 mm of rain on top of the 18 mm over the weekend. Nevertheless six arrived at the Hamlet. Their gardening group had made contact last week, requesting our help and it was agreed we would go today and possibly next week. The heavy rain did cease around 10-30, but lighter rain seemed to persist most of the morning. In the grassy area at the back, near the road, they required two large trees removing, roots included, and holes dug for six new Fruit Trees. This proved to be very tough, wet and muddy work, but we achieved what we set out to do. The holes were dug, the Trees reduced to 3 metre high trunks, their roots exposed and partially cut through. 

Monday 17 February
Once again a high turnout, with fourteen reporting for duty. It was decided to try to repair some of the damage Storms Ciara & Dennis had done to the paths and thoroughfares. One group went to the Path that runs to Twentywell Lane from the White Steps, clearing mud and digging drainage channels where necessary as well as clearing some holly. Another group of four members went to Beauchief Abbey Lane, and cleared it of mud, leaves and other debris that had been washed down from higher ground. They then did a tour of the abbey grounds and immediate area to check everything was in order. There is a possibility that some of the drystone wall could do with re-building although not an urgent job; it is leaning somewhat.

Monday 10 February
Despite the expected aftermath of Storm Ciara , twelve arrived at the Barn this morning. I personally expected to be clearing up  after Sunday's Storm, but there were no reports of any damage in the area. Two went to Old Park Wood , where two Steps were replaced and general maintenance performed on the rest. The rest went to the path below the Snowdrop/Daffodil area, behind the Hall, and using loose pieces of sandstone were able to make the Path less muddy, the newly named Yellow Brick Road.

Monday 3 February
Thirteen members turned up at the Barn. Our main tasks today were to clear the Round Walk path and that towards the back of the Hall. The Postman's Path was cleared of leaves and we worked back towards Beauchief Drive, scraping mud from affected areas.  Overhanging holly branches were cleared throughout.  Similar activity took place between the Drive and John's Steps. Another group of five worked from John's Steps towards the snowdrop/daffodil area. This included: clearing leaves from two flights of steps; using loose stones overlaid with mulch to cover mud and puddles; and cutting back encroaching vegetation. Our litter picker followed an extensive trail from Park Bank Wood through to Ladies Spring Wood though the amount of litter was not large

Monday 27 January
On another bright, dry morning, fifteen mustered at the Barn. Splitting into five groups we did the following: Litter picking around the area; clearing mud from the footpath around the Hall grounds, ideally it needs resurfacing in places; put more wood chippings on the Monday Group path; trimmed overhanging branches and cleared mud off the Holly Path; and On another bright, dry morning, fifteen mustered at the Barn. Splitting into five groups we did the following: Litter picking around the area; clearing mud from the footpath around the Hall grounds, ideally it needs resurfacing in places; put more wood chippings on the Monday Group path; trimmed overhanging branches and cleared mud off the Holly Path; and repaired/renewed two steps near the top of the Nature Park and two steps above Lady Spring Wood.

Monday 20 January
On a brilliantly clear winter's morning, fifteen of us turned out for work. Three major Tasks were accomplished: The Cobbled Path was cleared for its full length of autumn debris, the dry conditions over last few days meant the leaves were easy to move; litter was picked between Beauchief Drive and Twentywell lane; damaged metal fencing at the top of Gulleys Wood Meadow was repaired and reinforced using branch thinnings and wire; 20 of the more mature saplings (oak, beech, birch, hawthorn and hazel) were planted in place of whips that had failed in the area below the First green on Beauchief Golf Course (Carol’s Copse); and chopped pine was spread on the muddier parts of the path leading from the Nature Park to the Deer Park.

Monday 13 January
Eleven workers congregated at the Barn for the arranged meeting with Lee Hinchliffe, the Training Officer for Sheffield Council. Lee , very expertly showed us the correct way to use, the Brush Cutter, Hedge Trimmer & Lawn Mower. We all agreed a very informative and eye opening session with much food for thought , which promoted lively discussion afterwards. This raised a number of things to consider about current working practices, some of which need to be discussed at the next Committee meeting , as there are cost implications.

Monday 6 January 2020
What a start to 2020, 15 arrived for work, almost a full complement . A number of tasks were tackled as follows :
Beauchief Abbey Lane was cleared of Leaves and other debris. 
Electricity was put into the Barn and two floodlights were attached, there is still work to do, but the Barn is now completely lit.
Litter was picked in the Drive, Nature Park and Cobbled Path Area.
The two paths in the Nature Park were repaired with what materials we had to hand. The heavy rains last year had taken their toll on them.
The Cobbled Path was cleared of leaves, although this could be revisited next week if time allows.  
The power tools were checked, in preparation for next week’s training session.
The two outlets for the Abbey Middle Pond were again cleared to allow free flow of water.

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 2019
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, Trudi Parsons, Jonathan Smith.

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