Beauchief Environment Group
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Beauchief Environment Group News & Events

DIARY of EVENTS
NEXT EVENT - Saturday 9th February - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND SOCIAL EVENING.
Our annual social event with the AGM. Bring and share supper. Review of the BEG year with photographs.
Meet: 7.30 pm at Greenhill Library.

Also of interest?
Sunday 25 November: FARMERS & ARTISAN MARKET at Greenhill Library

Pre-Christmas event. Food and crafts from local producers.
11.00 am to 3.00 pm 

The next Committee Meeting will be held on Monday 7th January 2019. 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.

THE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION FOR BEG IS £3.50 FOR A FAMILY
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
WORKING MORNING: SATURDAY 6 OCTOBER
The weather forecast for the morning was for rain, but by 9.30 the rain had eased and six members arrived. The task was to sow yellow rattle seeds on the meadow and orchard at the Nature Park. Yellow rattle is an annual species semi-parasitic on grass roots which eventually will reduce vigorous growth. It is a species often found in established undisturbed meadows and is recommended as an addition to newly sown meadows. The seeds used came from two sources; some bought from a specialist wildflower seed supplier and some harvested from Gulley’s Wood Meadow when the seed had set and before the annual cut. Having taken advice on the best way to sow the seeds, we scarified well-spaced areas of meadow to expose soil and then applied seed. We managed to finish the meadow and had well-earned coffee and biscuits before the rain started again. Four of the six carried on and sowed a part of the orchard.

FUNGUS FORAY: SATURDAY 22 SEPTEMBER
This event was run jointly for BEG and Sorby Natural History Society members and was led by Michael (Ziggy) Senkans of the City Ecology Dept. Seventeen people turned up at the Abbey on a very pleasant morning. The fungi were not quite as abundant as we might have expected if there had been more rain and slightly cooler temperatures in the days leading up to the walk. However, we were not disappointed with the findings. We started off by looking in the Abbey grounds, then into Parkbank Wood, along Beauchief Drive then into Gulleys Wood Meadow. Gulleys Wood Meadow is usually a good place to find wax cap fungi (Hygrophorus and Hygrocybe species), but sadly none were found on this occasion.

WORKING MORNING: SATURDAY 18 AUGUST 
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.

BEAUCHIEF NATURE PARK – MEADOW: TUESDAY 17 JULY 2017 
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. 

FLOWER WALK – SUNDAY 11 JUNE: 

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.


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: May - November 2018
Monday 19 November
With thirteen helpers today, we were able to perform a number of tasks. A group went to the steps in Old Park Wood and effected some much needed repairs. Earlier in the year, it had been reported to PROW, that the Steps were deteriorating . A subsequent site visit by Tony Andrews [PROW] and Peter Smithson [BEG], decided the best course of action and the materials were duly delivered . Our Group did the required work today. Thanks from BEG to Tony , for the supplies and arranging for the Footpath sign to be replaced near the Steps. Appreciative comments from two locals made the morning's work worthwhile. Some of the Blackthorn Whips from last week had been held back, and today were used to plug the gap in the Hedge at the top of Gulley's Wood Meadow. Litter, our constant headache, was removed from the Drive and Beauchief Abbey Lane. Three dry stone wallersput in footings and progressed to first lift stage an enormous “through” stone was brought along to further stabilise the leaning wall. We had to clear lots of leaves and take down a little more of the “adverse bater” section before starting. With a good start next week, we should be able to finish filling the gap.

Monday 12 November
Seven members headed to the far end of Beauchief Golf Course where another member appeared and we began planting the 200 whips that had been received. Species provided were: oak, silver birch, hawthorn, field maple, wild cherry, willow (not sure which species or variety), rowan and hazel. Each one was planted with a bamboo cane and a guard protector. Fortunately we managed to get them all planted in time and now hope for a bit of rain to water them in.

Monday 5 November
The Morning began with ten of us plus members of the Committee meeting with Louise Haigh MP. She was told about the Group, and what we do, then given a short tour of the Nature Park area , before joining the rest of us in High Wood for a final sight of us replacing steps. After our break, we cleared elder growing in the Wood and removed Leaves from the steps. Litter was picked in the area, less than would be expected after a Half term Holiday and a Bonfire Weekend. Work to repair an Abbey wall was started. Before leaving we started the Leaf Blower, which worked first time.


Monday 29 October
Another fine, dry Autumn morning where ten arrived for duty. We all went to Little Wood Bank to continue the Holly clearance. We also visited the Steps in Ladies Spring Wood that need repair. Four were identified as needing replacement, each one needs to be 4 1/2 feet minimum. Until next week we are unsure whether stocks of Timber will be sufficient for all four. 


Monday 22 October
On a fine, dry, autumnal morning thirteen of us turned out. The Drive was litter-picked by one member of the group until 11.00 am, when he joined the others in Gulley's Meadow. We gave the Meadow its annual Autumn Makeover, trimming the Hedges, clearing the debris, taking off a few dead  Branches, removing a few Self Sets, repairing a Wall and clearing some Brambles. It looked very colourful this morning; to think a few years ago this could have been an extension to the Golf Course.

Monday 15 October
Nine of us arrived on a wet autumnal morning, although the forecast rain did not appear till we got home. A number of tasks were completed as follows: The clearing of weeds and mud from the Beauchief Abbey Lane Footpath was completed.The area around the 'Hidden' Pond in the Nature Park was cleared, to allow it to access more light. The area of Bracken on the Golf Course was cleared for when we plant the new Whips in November. The lower branches were cleared from a large fallen branch that was blocking the path by the Stile behind the Driving Range.

Monday 8 October
Eleven members reported for duty today on a fine breezy October morning. Two went to remove the weeds from the path alongside Beauchief Abbey Lane and the rest headed to the Orchard and ponds.  The remaining trees had their mulch applied, then various areas were scarified slightly and Yellow Rattle seeds sown in the hope of keeping the grass level down during the summer. Following John Gilpin's visit we had agreed to trim some of the willows growing over the two new ponds and remove some of the vegetation.  On completion we headed to the opposite side of the Community area to clear brambles from around the whips that had been planted there last year.  Most of the trees around the storage area are looking very healthy and the majority of the whips were still surviving. Two of the group used the graffiti kit from the barn to remove most of the graffiti from the telephone cabinets at the end of Folds Lane.


Monday 1 October
A total of fourteen arrived today, which began early, in the Nature Park, for an informal meeting with John Gilpin. He addressed our concerns about the severe mow in the Meadow and the area around the Ponds, by explaining this is necessary every 3 years. Although it looks devastated it will grow back, but the severe mow assists in keeping down the " Self Sets" and other undesirables, without this it could revert to Woodland. John also took a stroll around the whole area and the following was agreed: The fly-tipping in the layby, and the metal in the Car Park will be removed; he told us how best to mulch the fruit trees, and he will arrange some instruction in pruning. We also discussed the Path by the River Sheaf, which is becoming dangerous. We will, as soon as practicable, work with the Rangers to solve this issue. Our grateful thanks to John for giving us this time. 
Three groups then began work, removing debris from the gutter in Beauchief Abbey Lane, sweeping the path and trimming the hedge; installing two revetments on the steep part of Abbey Lane end of Hutcliffe Wood top path where it had been falling away into the ravine; and trimming grass around the bases of the orchard trees, scattering bone meal, and adding mulch.
Monday 24 September
The ten members who turned up all went up to Little Wood Bank today and replaced the 5 Steps we identified last week as requiring repair/replacement and carried on with the Holly Clearance in the Glade area, which now looks very much more open. Prior to going up to the Bank, we removed some wood panelling which had been dumped in the Abbey Pond. 
It appears a Contractor mowed the Nature Park Meadow at the Weekend, and went over the Saplings we planted by the Island to create the screen Also in the area of the 2 Ponds, the area either side of the Path has been  "devastated", all the work we have done clearing the maximum of 1 metre at the path side has been undone. Tom arrived and mowed the Orchard. 

Monday 17 September
Twelve turned out today on what became a rather humid morning. One performed the necessary Litter pick on the Drive (see report below), while the others returned to the Meadow on Little Wood Bank. We gave it a second mow, as well as clearing Holly from the Perimeter that grew near to resident Trees. One step was replaced but, inevitably, others were identified. 
I have often wondered how many items I pick up on my litter picking expeditions, and so today for the first time I decided to count each item that I put into the sack. I was surprised to find that between Abbey Lane and the (formerly) white steps, I picked up 377 items of litter. They ranged from the very small (fragments of a blue plastic fork, cigarette ends, the torn off corners of chocolate bar wrappers), to moderately large (complete fast food polystyrene containers, and this morning an angler’s bait box). This may have been a slightly worse day than usual, but this score implies that there are likely to be 300 or more items of litter to be picked up every three weeks or so.

Monday 10 September
Thirteen arrived for work in the meadow on Little Wood Bank where the meadow was mowed, grass cuttings were cleared and brash was cut back. During the morning, four frogs, one toad and 65 golf balls were discovered!

Monday 3 September
Eleven arrived today and we all went to the Hedge by the 18th Tee. It was a first for most of us, who were unaware this Hedge had been planted by BEG many years ago. We trimmed the Golf Course side , carefully avoiding Berries & Hips, which were in abundance. During the course of the work we noticed a Berry none of us recognised, with the aid of  I Phone/I Pad technology Diana was able to identify as a Spindle. A new one for many of us also. We also walked over to the area by the 1st Green were it is intended we plant the new Whips later in the year. 

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.


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.

 

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE 2018
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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