Beauchief Environment Group
bluebell woods
   
         
         
 

Beauchief Environment Group News & Events

DIARY of EVENTS

Saturday 10 February:  Annual General Meeting 
Social Evening and Supper. Please put this date into your Diary now. further details in the February Newsletter.

The next Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday 18th January 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.

Beauchief Nature Park (Formerly described as disused Council nursery land) – 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.

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

NEWS – what’s been happening recently

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?

Saturday 24 June - Annual balsam pulling and knotweed monitoring in Ladies Spring Wood
A larger group of seven volunteers turned up this year, and they were certainly needed. Weather conditions earlier in the year must have led to a proliferation of balsam and over a two-hour period well over 5000 stems of balsam were uprooted. Hardly any of them had yet come fully into flower. It was noticeable that they had spread a further distance into the woods from the edge of the stream than previously. There were large numbers of very tall plants and many had more brittle stems than usual. The situation with knotweed was also worse than last year, with more than 40 stems noted. Following advice we did not uproot these, but built a small cairn at the first, and largest, occurrence. Thanks to all who came along, two of whom had never explored that part of our patch before.
(The knotweed was reported to the Woodlands Officer and he has informed us that the mature stems have been injected with the appropriate herbicide which is the only method of control allowed close to water and in woodland. Hopefully the quantity of knotweed will have reduced next year. D.H.)

Saturday 3 June - Nature Park
Our working morning at the Nature Park was blessed with good weather. 10 people came along to tackle the many broad leaved docks growing in the area along the edge of the meadow - we were quite surprised at the number there were. It was decided not to try digging them up as this is very difficult when docks are well established. Instead, we opted for slashing down the leaves to prevent them flowering. Two people worked hard dealing with any docks they could find in the meadow.  Also, some of the docks in the verge were carefully sprayed with "Round Up". Also in that area were low growing bramble "runners" spreading through the grass forming trip hazards for the unwary. Many were dug up and removed from the site - jolly hard work. Afterwards, the disturbed soil was levelled and sown with some of our meadow grasses seed mix. We hope that this area will now be easier to mow as it leads to the two memorial benches. The new bench proved very useful as we spread ourselves out there for a well-earned coffee and biscuits. Thanks to all for your hard work and a job well done.

Monday 22 May - Memorial Bench in honour of the late Ray Morris, founder member of BEG 

The Monday group had been searching for a length of wood suitable for a bench top for some time. Eventually a large piece of spalted beech was located and prepared. After sanding, the wood was given coats of preservative and a brass plaque inserted. On a lovely spring morning the bench was put in place at the Nature Park, overlooking the meadow and close to Ray’s damson tree planted last year (see photo above). At looked splendid. At 11 am Brenda, Ray’s widow, came along to see the completed job and join the group for coffee and biscuits. It is a beautiful sturdy bench, a real craftsman’s job, which will be enjoyed by all who are in need of a rest and a period of quiet contemplation.

Wednesday 17 May - Environment Weeks Walk
After a long spell of fine weather our walk event unfortunately coincided with a very wet day and damp evening! Six hardy BEG members nevertheless walked up Beauchief Drive, spotting the cattle in Shene Field on the way. We walked round the Nature Park which was looking really good. One of the new ponds had loads of tadpoles. We had a brief look at the pignut in Gulleys Wood Meadow before returning to the Abbey. An enjoyable evening in good company!


Saturday 8 April - Annual Spring Clean
Six adults and two children turned up for this task on a fabulous spring morning. At first glance there was not much litter about but we eventually amassed five black sacks of rubbish some of which had been brought down the Drive from the recreation area at Bradway. We enjoyed our coffee break by Brian's bench in the Nature Park meadow and were thrilled to spot orange tip and small tortoiseshell butterflies.

Saturday 18 February - Higher Level Stewardship work at Gulley’s Wood Meadow
This turned out be a lovely morning for our work in Gulleys Wood Meadow. Seven members came plus Daniel, a hard-working scout, who has been to a number of our Saturday sessions. The main purpose of the morning was to cut back/dig up blackthorn suckers which were encroaching into the meadow area from the hedges - blackthorn is notorious for this growth habit. This has become a perennial problem which we have tackled on numerous occasions but is necessary in order to make sure that the mower is able to cut close to the hedges. This was quite hard work and we were glad when it was time for coffee and chocolate biscuits! Unfortunately there are still a lot more to remove. Before helping with digging, Daniel and Barrie had collected a large sack of litter on their way up Beauchief Drive. We noticed some early signs of spring, the blackthorn flower buds were beginning to swell and the birds were singing. A robin kept us company during the morning.

Saturday 12 November – Beauchief Abbey
On a very damp drizzly morning 10 members worked in the Abbey grounds. The work mainly involved moving a lot of fallen and previously piled up wood from the graveyard and grassed areas. A large area of rank overgrown weeds and grass were strimmed, nettles dug up and brambles cut back. Weeds were removed from the flower beds and around the notice board and Rhona did a sterling job of cutting back the yew tree from where it completely shaded the stained glass window of the abbey to allow in more light - it is now much better. It was rather wet and muddy work so we were very glad of the hot refreshments Pam served in the abbey. Thanks Pam and everyone who turned out on a grim day!

Saturday 22 October – Beauchief Nature Park
Eight members came along on what turned out to be a very nice morning weatherwise. The main task of the morning was to check the whips which had been planted alongside the fence around the wood yard and adjacent to the car park earlier in the year and to remove any rabbit guards which were impeding growth. We also cut back the vegetation surrounding them either by clippers or with the power strimmer where appropriate. One of the group collected a sack of litter from further afield. Although not a large turnout there were enough of us to do the job and finish relatively early. Thanks to all who came.

Saturday 24 September - Haymaking, Little Wood Bank
Eight people came to work - they knew exactly what they were doing because we cut most of the meadow by coffee time! A combination of the brush-cutter and two mowers did the trick. We continued after coffee to cut back into the willowherb at the top of the patch; so all in all a good mornings work. Also of note is the alder buckthorn, some of which is thriving and fruiting and 5 plants of broad leaved helleborine we found spread out across the bottom of the area.


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 these 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: June - December 2017

Monday 11 December
On a morning that saw snow on the ground, bright blue skies and temperatures hovering around freezing, nine of us met on Little Wood Bank to finish the gorse clearance. We made light work of the final cut, as it was the only way to keep warm. 

Monday 4 December
On a warm dry morning, that was such a contrast to last week, fourteen group members met at the Barn. The main objective was met, by planting 100 new whips in the Nature Park. We refilled the gaps around the Car Park and the Wood Store but the majority went in the new meadow area behind the Store. The Cobbled Path had its leaves blown off and the path from John's steps to the Hall was also cleared.

Monday 27 November
On a very squally morning, thirteen of us turned out. One completed site clearance around abbey sycamore wall, and started on clearing guttering on access road before the rain came. One went leaf blowing on the long steps and the Drive. The remaining eleven went back to Little Wood Bank, to carry on with Gorse clearance and we had another Bonfire. We ensured that Fire Control were kept informed.

Monday 20 November
The weather forecast suggested a damp morning, which was not what we wanted when trying to burn gorse. However the rain never amounted to more than drizzle so ten members and a newcomer turned up at Little Wood Bank whilst our stonewaller searched the allotment area for suitable stones to complete the Abbey wall. It is now finished. The rest of the group assisted fireman Bob to keep the fire going which was done very effectively, clearing all the material cut last week and giving us time to cut some more for burning today as well as developing a stockpile for next week. At coffee a special 80th birthday celebration was held for two of our members with Prosecco in plastic cups and birthday cake by the bench; marshmallows had also been brought and these were duly toasted on the fire embers.

Monday 13 November
Thirteen arrived today, on a cold crisp morning. Three remained at the Abbey to carry on with the Wall repair and reached the coping stage. Ten met at Little Wood Bank to clear Gorse, Brambles & Saplings from a pre-selected area. Copious amounts of Litter, Bottles & Cans were collected along with 170 Driving Range Golf Balls, which were returned.

Monday 6 November
On a beautiful November morning we split into two working groups, one group continuing to work on the dry stone wall at the Abbey whilst the other group met on Bradway Road to complete the stile, commenced last week. Eight members appeared here and duly completed the stile as shown on the attached pictures. In addition leaf blowing was conducted around the footpaths leading to Twentywell Lane from the former White Steps, the one at the back of the Driving Range and the link path between them as shown on the attached picture (before and after). The verges of the main path by the Driving Range were mown and some trimming of the overhanging bushes was done on the lower path.

Monday 30 October
Twelve arrived on a glorious autumnal morning, and split into the same groups as last week. Four remained at the Abbey to continue the Wall repair. One performed the necessary Litter Pick before joining the seven at the Fence near the Golf Range, who have almost completed the repairs. Photos attached courtesy of Ruth & Trevor, which show the work on the Fence and its almost completed state.

Monday 23 October
Nine turned out today and once again split into three disparate groups.Four went to the Abbey wall and Bill's reports as follows - the four wallers, Geoff, Ruth, Pete and Bill made steady progress this morning. Ruth and Pete proceeded through 2nd lift stage along the linear part whilst Jeff and Bill managed to get the footings in around the sycamore trunk. A pair of curious nuthatches accompanied us most of the morning. Photos attached show the progress made. One did the essential Litter picking. The remaining four went to the back of the Driving Range where the overlapping fence, that had been a deterrent to off road Motor Cycles, had come down. All the uprights had rotted, but the rest is in good repair so the logistics of repairing was discussed and we commenced the work. We will return next Monday to finish it as we do not wish the wood to be taken for a Bonfire.

Monday 16 October
There were twelve today and we spit into two groups. To the Abbey Wall went three who were able to put in footings and triple Smoot this morning for the wall around the Sycamore. Nine returned to Gulley's Meadow, which looks tremendous after last week's mowing. We still needed to trim the Hedge at the top, remove Rose Bay Willow Herb and brambles, and repair the wall above the Gulley. All this was achieved. Three of us also managed a stroll up to the Nature Park Meadow to see the mowing in progress and had a chat to the Contractor. We then decided to reconnoitre the proposed route of the Path [phase 2] . We found the hidden Pond and roughly decided on the Path's direction but much of it is heavily covered, so maybe we will wait till the Vegetation dies down.
During our Recce the Sun turned a reddish colour , which Trevor believes is a precursor to an invasion by Ming the Merciless, and we need Flash Gordon to protect us. Trevor is prone to these bouts and wonder if should not allow him to use any Machinery until he has got his medication correct.

Monday 9 October
Eleven of us went up to Gulley's Wood Meadow, armed with mower, strimmer, shears, loppers, forks, spades, sickle & rakes and began cutting back around the Perimeter in preparation for the annual mow. This is a lengthy job and we hope to return next week.
Monday 2 October
Two Ladies & Eight Men went to mow , went to mow a Meadow.......and they also, removed Weeds & Brambles, strimmed the long growth and cleared it back about 4 metres.
All this was performed on Little Wood Bank in the secluded Glade/Meadow, which had been started a few weeks by the Saturday Group.

Monday 18 September
Nearly a full house today with twelve arriving. Three went to the Abbey to carry on with the task of rebuilding the fallen wall; an attempt will be made to build it around the Sycamore. One measured up for the required wood to repair a stile, which may be a job for next week. The others went to the path in Park Bank Wood to replace the revetments and a step that had fallen into disrepair we also scraped the path & steps of loose twigs from last week's storm.

Monday 11 September
Six [fool] hardy regulars turned out today even though rain was forecast. As it turned out, it only rained heavily twice. Once 9-15 - 10.30 then 10-50 to after 12. We managed a few tasks before the rain stopped play. The ladders and assorted wood were removed from Pam's Patch and put on the Golf Club Bonfire The Sycamore in the Abbey Grounds was also viewed, but no firm decision reached. Removal/heavy pruning would need outside assistance, but we feel the area would benefit from this. A trip to Shene Field was our primary task, where we removed Ragwort & Thistles from the area and part cut the Field side of the Hedge. The Rain and a temperamental Hedge Cutter stopped us completing the task.

Monday 4 September
Nine members turned up for work this morning and Sue Hocking came to explain the location of some revetment problems in Park Bank Wood. Two started on the dry stone wall near the Abbey that has been greatly affected by a large sycamore tree causing bulging. This may be a long term project to sort out but a start was made. The hedging alongside the ponds was trimmed and leaves and mud extracted from the pond. In the process a large Swan Mussel was found before being carefully returned. On completion of the hedge we dispersed into Old Park Wood to replace a long-rotted step located by Sue and also build a barrier to divert a path from its original course onto the current de facto one. Two brambles were transplanted (and watered) on the original line to deter use. Our normal task is digging them up so this was a first.

Monday 21 August
Nine met today and proceeded to work on a number of tasks: Our regular, but very necessary Litter pick; scything around the Nature Park path, removing the larger growth the Mower cannot; replacing a Step in the section known as John's Steps; replacing Revetments in Ladies Spring Wood and clearing Brambles & Weeds from the path edge.

Monday 14 August
Seven of us were joined by Tom & Emma from the Ranger Service, who assisted in transporting our equipment to the top of the Nature Park and were then given a guided tour of Ladies Spring Wood, looking at jobs where their expertise/equipment could be best utilised. They then spent the rest of the morning pruning Trees with their long Power Saw. [No we cannot have one] Our sole task in the Wood was to repair a Step and various bits of Revetment that had rotted.

Monday 7 August
Six members turned up at the barn this morning. A bit of scything was done by the lower car park but the main effort was to allow sunlight and moisture to get to the new saplings that had been planted around the SCC storage area in the Community Orchard area as they are now; a large number of the more difficult to get at ragwort plants were also uprooted. Undergrowth was very dense on the far side of the storage area fence so this took most of the morning using the sickle and shears. Two members also went on the Round Walk to check on items that needed doing in John Gilpin's Risk Assesment map of Ladies Spring Wood. The plan is to work on step and revetment replacement along this path next week. We also noticed how much vegetation had grown in the former rhododendron area at the back of the Hall. We removed a few new shoots that had appeared and were surprised to see how many tree seedlings had germinated this year - sweet chesnut, oak, ash, birch, hawthorn and possibly poplar were observed.

Monday 31 July
Eleven of us, on a warm dry morning all went to the Nature Park to collect litter, re-stake some of the Fruit Trees, remove Ragwort, and clear weeds from around the Whips. Full marks to Bill who single handedly using a Scythe, cleared a large area around the Car Park. No Poldark award though but maybe if the grim Reaper ever retires there is a suitable replacement. The path around the Park was mowed, but we need to return here with the Brash Cutter as some growth is too tough for the Mower. A Dragonfly & Damsel Flies were seen in the Pond area and a Mullein plant seen at Orchard entrance. Six new Knotweed shoots were seen at the centre of the Meadow [Knotweed Island]

Monday 24 July
As a result of the recent warmth and subsequent rainfall, the vegetation surrounding the path around the Bradway Driving Range had grown profusely, so that was the target for this morning's activity. Eleven members turned up on Bradway Road and the mower, brash cutter, shears and loppers were used to trim the overhanging vegetation and mow the grass verges. By the end of the morning there was a clear path right through to the trig point. In addition, litter was removed from around the viewpoint seat at the top of the Bradway Rec and bracken was uprooted from the glade that was recently created in Little Wood Bank just below the driving range path. The new shoots were looking a bit feeble so our efforts may be having some success. Brambles and willowherb as well as grass were appearing and even some oak and holly seedlings were shooting up.

Monday 17 July
On a hot Summer's morning ten of us cut the hedges on Beauchief Abbey Lane, completing last week's work, and around the Abbey Garden both inside and on the Drive side. Thankfully the clogged Air Filter proved to be the problem with the Trimmer as it now performed well throughout the morning.

Monday 10 July
On a rather wet July morning nine of us turned out to complete two tasks. Firstly to run an underground pipe from a drainpipe at rear of the Abbey into a Soak-away, to allow the Rainwater to settle 3 metres away, as it was affecting the internal walls of the Abbey. The trench and soak-away were dug, the pipe laid in the trench then covered up, so in time it will blend with the surroundings. Because of the wet morning we were able to observe the Pipe working effectively before being covered. Secondly to cut the Hedge on Beauchief Abbey Lane, as it was affecting the ability to walk on the Pavement. Unfortunately the Hedge Trimmer broke down half way through so not all of the top has been trimmed, we hope to complete this next week. The fault was traced to a wet Air-Filter, which has been dismantled and left to dry. Litter was also collected from this area. John & Peter , prior to joining the groups , met with Ziggy to discuss the logistics of the continuance of the Path around the Nature Park.

Monday 3 July
Nine members turned up at the Barn this morning and luckily the last one to arrive had a key, otherwise work would have been postponed. Our plan was to continue working along the path at the side of the meadow beyond the Hall. This we duly did, mowing the path edges, uprooting some of the overhanging bracken and generally widening and tidying up the established pathway as far as the Round Walk path and removing any overhanging branches that affected my walking. As entertainment at coffee time, we sat on the seat beneath the ash tree and watched the antics of our young robin. It could fly unsteadily but prefered to hop around on the ground whilst watching us have our coffee.

Monday 26 June
Nine turned up today and while one collected litter from the surrounding area the remaining eight took Rakes, Loppers, Shears, the Strimmer and the new Mower to the path around the Hall field. We began at the top of the Cobbled Path [which also had some TLC applied] and cleared it all the way round to the steps. Throughout the morning a recently fledged Robin and one Parent were our constant companions.

Monday 19 June
Ten arrived on a very warm & humid morning, to carry on the good work from last week. We cleared Brambles & Willow Herb, from the path below the Driving Range. Then before we left we strimmed the Willow Herb at the bottom end of the meadow area right up to the Alder Buckthorns, which seem to be thriving.

Monday 12 June
Seven members turned up at Bradway Road this morning, with the mower, the strimmer and equipment being transported by vehicle. We had a very successful morning mowing the path between Bradway Road, the back of the Driving Range and almost to the Trig Point. Grass was raked and cleared and overhanging branches were trimmed so the path looks very presentable now. Several dog walkers commented on the improvements. The willowherb, bracken and brambles within the wood by the recently cleared grassland were strimmed and raked to give the grass chance to grow here. Unfortunately we couldn't quite finish the job so we will look to conclude next week though it will only take about three people.


Monday 5 June
On a wet, cool and windy June morning, seven members duly appeared at the Barn. We decided to finish off tidying up the Abbey wall that had recently been rebuilt as grass was very wet for cutting. Six of us cleared the surplus stone and placed it at the back of the Abbey from where some of it had originally been obtained. We had also expected to tidy up the trampled soil area near the wall but found that had been largely completed. John Gilpin called to discuss the second path around the new allotment and that seems likely to go ahead. He also mentioned work on the lower path in Ladies Spring Wood, by the river, where the Rangers were planning on future work. One member went collecting litter. Having completed the wall work there was an early dispersal apart from our litter picker with whom two of us had a sociable coffee break under the shelter (?) of the trees.


EVENING MEETINGS

Saturday 14 September 2015: “Trekking to base camp the old way” – John Driskell and David Peckett’s account of their trek to Everest.

In the 1960s John and David dreamed of getting to Everest one day. After a long time in the planning they trekked overland by Land Rover and on foot, without proper maps but guided by a Sherpa and a porter, to Everest base camp in Nepal. This was probably the first time such a journey had ever been attempted, as previous expeditions to Everest had always been by air followed by a final long trek overland to their destination. Their descriptions of the primitive places they stayed, the people they met and the difficulties encountered were fascinating, illustrated by the photographs they took at the time and punctuated by poems which beautifully conveyed the atmosphere of the journey. They returned in 2010 to experience Nepal again and try to find the places they remembered and to see how much things had changed in the intervening years. This was a really interesting and well-presented talk, much enjoyed and appreciated by the good-sized audience. Thank you John and David for a sharing your experiences with us.
The picture donated by Jill Ray was raffled at the meeting and raised £50 for BEG funds.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2017 - Saturday 11th February 2017 at Greenhill Library
This was the first time that the AGM had been held at Greenhill Library and it proved to be a really good venue for us. The meeting was well attended and members’ views regarding the venue were extremely positive. The evening opened with the formal AGM proceedings. The minutes of the 2016 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 produced a separate presentation illustrating their work with a musical accompaniment which earned a round of applause. A special vote of thanks to the Monday group for all the work they do weekly throughout the year was minuted. The audited accounts were circulated and the Hon Treasurer read out the Financial Statement. After discussion, the accounts were accepted and the meeting agreed that the auditor, who audits the accounts free of charge, be asked to continue. The group’s officers were willing to continue and were reelected en bloc as were the committee members. The meeting also expressed thanks to the people who work at the library and are also BEG members for the hard work they put in preparing the room for the AGM.
After the formal business was concluded Annie Russell of the national charity Living Streets gave a short talk about the work of the charity and its efforts to encourage local people to enjoy walking in the streets. Living Streets is in the process of surveying different neighbourhoods in Sheffield to identify problems and obstacles which would interfere with walking and which are then reported to the Local Authority. The meeting thanked Annie for her interesting and informative talk.
Afterwards we had plenty of time to chat whilst partaking of the bring-and-share supper with wine, soft drinks and coffee. This was a really enjoyable evening for all concerned and the library proved to be a successful venue.

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE 2017 
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.

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