Beauchief Environment Group
bluebell woods
   
         
         
 
Beauchief Environment Group News & Events

DIARY of EVENTS

Saturday 16 March: Working Morning in the Beauchief Nature Park (Off Beauchief Drive)
We may work on identifying and clearing areas for tree nursery and insect hibernacula as well.
Meet: 9.30 am Allotments Car Park on Beauchief Drive 

Sheffield Environment Weeks: Saturday 27 April – Sunday 9 June - leaflets available nearer the date.

Wedneday 8th May: Environment Week Event - Nature Walk
A gentle-paced walk around the woods and meadows of the beautiful area of Beauchief, including the developing Nature Park with its meadow, ponds, orchard and woodland walks.
Meet: 6.30 pm Beauchief Abbey, Beauchief Abbey Lane

The next Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday 3rd April 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 - Projected Tree Nursery
Once a small area of ground has been cleared at the Nature Park, we hope to 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
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: August 2018 - February 1019 
Monday 25 February
On a bright, warm, Spring [sorry Winter] morning ten members arrived. Tom had beaten us to it and had the expected Wood delivery. He also gave a brief but relevant instruction on how he lays steps and revetments. Then, with members of the Committee, he went off to do a site survey. The ten split into equal groups. One going to Tony's Steps to replace seven steps and some stobs. While the others went to Beauchief Abbey Lane, and cleared both sides and the path of autumn debris, cut up three fallen branches in Pam's Patch and litter picked. 


Monday 18 February
With twelve members arriving at the Bradway Road entrance, we were able, once again, to complete a number of tasks. The path around the side of the Driving Range was completely widened. Litter was picked, from both sides of the Range, including 18 filled poo bags. Why do they discard them like that?Heather Seeds were sown on Little Wood Bank, below where we cleared the Gorse last. Also holly was cleared, from around mature Trees on the Bank.

Monday 11 February
Nine members met up on Bradway Road with the tools and a wheelbarrow being transported from the Barn. The aim today was to continue widening and cleaning the footpath at the back and side of the Golf Driving Range as well as clearing the view from the triangulation point at the far end of the path.Two went to attack the holly shrubs around the Point as instructed, whilst the remainder of us widened the path and inevitably collected some litter.

Monday 4 February

Twelve of us arrived at the Driving Range Path with the intention of cutting back the encroachment along the Edges. We managed about half the task, so it is back next week for more of the same. John Gilpin arrived for his scheduled meeting with members of the Committee and a Tour of Little Wood Bank to confirm and adjust plans for maintainence.

Monday 28 January

A cold, frosty and very clear morning saw fifteen of us arrive for work, and again we split into three separate groups. Eight went to the new path in the Nature Park, and carried on clearing the brambles from the area around where we planted the new whips and putting fresh chippings on the path. This is a big job and we envisage returning in the near future. Three put up a new Memorial Bench, in Old Park Wood, before joining the rest in the Nature Park. Fourwent to Hutcliffe Wood and made seven new steps.  Five more steps are needed and it will be necessary to order more materials to complete the job. While we were at work a passing dog walker remarked that she had come across cyclists hurtling down the path and that steps might have the welcome effect of slowing their speed.

Monday 21 January
Even with eleven we were able to split into four working groups , to accomplish the following: 1) Clear the Cobbled Path of Autumn Debris. The Leaf Blower not only behaved itself, but did a good job of loosening the well trodden debris allowing raking & sweeping to finish the job. Surprisingly no Litter on this stretch. 2) Litter pick on the Drive up to the Cobbled Path; a larger amount than expected. 3) Clear Brambles from around the new Whips in Gulleys Wood Meadow. 4) Plant new Whips in the Nature Park and clear the area of Brambles with the Brash Cutter. 

Monday 14 January
On a warm, calm [after the Weekend's high winds], dry morning 10 went to the Gorse Patch and finished this session by clearing more Bramble & Gorse and burning this, along with last week's contribution. That is now job completed , until next December, where the  area to be cleared is already earmarked.

Monday 7 January
Ten members appeared for duty today, split between four planting whips at the top of the Nursery area, one was litter picking very successfully as he had to start a second sack and the remaining five worked on the gorse at Little Wood Bank.  Most of the straggly gorse towards the bottom of the area has now been cut. A second bag was needed to collect the litter that had accumulated over the holiday period. 
Whilst cutting gorse two tyres were removed (and returned to M & T transmissions) plus about 40 golf balls from the Driving Range.

Monday 17 December
Our dry stone wall expert had finished the Abbey Wall on Sunday. So on a beautiful winter morning, fifteen of us arrived at the Gorse Patch to build the Bonfire from last week's cutting. Our elevenses were more prolonged than usual as we closed 2019, with Mulled Wine, Savoury & Sweet Snacks on a table brought by John, the burnt remains of the Bench being on the fire. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. 


Monday 10 December

What a contrast today was with last week, when we had to cancel due to heavy rain. Twelve of us, on a fine sunny morning went to the Little Wood Bank Gorse patch and began the clearance. It is good to see the regeneration from the last two year's work including the area where we had the large fire. We did not build the bonfire today, leaving the cut Gorse in small piles around the site. We willtransportcut material to the bonfire site next Monday.We were able to also remove the two burnt stumps from the remains of the Bench, such a shame it has gone.The Abbey Wall is nearing completion. Bill could not work today, but did some work on Saturday. Just the top needs levelling off (and more small stone for hearting), the copestones replacing, and clearing any excess to our stone pile.

Monday 26 November

With 12 turning up today we were able to get a few tasks done. This was our first leaf-blowing event of the season. The Holly Path was raked of leaves as far as one person was able. The clearing of Park Bank Wood Path was commenced. Unfortunately the leaf blower went on strike, so we were unable to finish the job. The Long Steps and the bottom path were done with blower and later rakes but the top one is still to be done.Also the remaining uncovered whips on the golf course, had covers placed around them. About 40 had been left uncovered from the planting day. A democratic vote, with subsequent ratification by Brussels over the weekend, has declared this new area of whips [soon to be Saplings] will henceforth be named Carol's Copse.Workers on the Abbey wall almost made it to copes level and expect to finish it off in two weeks’ time.

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.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2019 - Saturday 9th February 2019 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 2018 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, which was enjoyed by those present.  The tasks undertaken were many and varied, ranging from laying a flagstone path at the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet to burning gorse on Little Wood Bank to encourage regeneration.  Most work has taken place on Monday mornings, when more people are available to work. Some Saturday sessions have taken place including seed sowing and exchange between meadow areas. 
The audited accounts, which now follow the calendar year (as agreed at the 2018 AGM) and so covered a 15 month period this time, were circulated. The Treasurer told the meeting how he depreciates the value of equipment and about the present state of the HLS monies. The Treasurer had said that any questions relating to the accounts could be put to him later. The auditor, who audits the accounts free of charge, was asked to continue. The Treasurer was thanked and the Accounts accepted.
The Secretary gave thanks to the Chairman for all her work, particularly the preparation of the newsletter. The distributors of the Newsletter, the distribution organiser, and the assistant secretary were also thanked.
The group’s officers were willing to continue and were reelected en bloc as were the committee members. The Chairman invited anyone else interested in joining the Committee to come forward at any time.  
Pam Hodgson (for Beauchief Abbey) thanked the Monday Group for the work done on Pam’s Patch. Another year has passsed without the legal work for transfer of this land having been completed.
The  question of replacing the vandalised seat at the top of Little Wood Bank overlooking the view was raised.  At this time, after discussion, the committee feels that vandalism is so bad here (2 seats have previously been replaced) that we regretfully don’t think we will replace this seat again.
At a meeting with John Gilpin (SCC Woodlands Officer) about management of Little Wood Bank, it was suggested that some heather seeds may be scattered on burnt patches here.
It was agreed to action the suggestion that a good battery light be purchased for installation in the barn used for tool storage as this would improve safety. 
Thanks were offered to the unknown person who leaves black bags full of rubbish they have collected from the area for removal.

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 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, Trudy Parsons, Jonathan Smith.

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