Beauchief Environment Group
bluebell woods

Beauchief Environment Group News & Events


Sunday 15 April: BIRD WATCHING WALK - arranged by Chris Whitehouse in conjunction with Graham Games 
Primarily for BEG members, neighbours and local people but all are welcome. We will have a gentle stroll round the ponds, up Beauchief Drive and around local woods and meadows, aiming to finish at midday.
Meet at Beauchief Abbey at 9.30 am. Please wear strong footwear and appropriate clothing for the weather.

SHEFFIELD ENVIRONMENT WEEKS: Saturday 28 April to Sunday 10 June 2018.
The printed booklet containing all the events should be available from libraries, museums etc in April. 

Thursday 10 May: Environment Weeks Event: 
An early evening walk around the Nature Park and adjacent bluebell woods – approx 2 hours and afterwards an opportunity to see inside Beauchief Abbey. 
Meet: 6.30 at Beauchief Abbey, good footwear recommended, dogs on lead only please. 

Sunday 10 June: FLOWER WALK
A chance to enjoy and identify local wild flowers. A walk round the area to look for and make a note of what is in flower in the meadows, woods and hedgerows. Also to have a go at taking close-up photos – always a challenge. 
Meet: 2.00 pm at Beauchief Abbey If you have a flora please bring it along.

Saturday 30 June: BALSAM BASH
Our annual attempt to control the invasive species (Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed) along the banks of the River Sheaf to maintain the status of our SSSI Ladies Spring Wood. Lots of help is needed for this one-off task to get it done in a single morning. 
Meet: Dore and Totley Station at 9.30 am. Stout footware or wellington boots essential. Please bring your own refreshments and gloves on this occasion. 

Saturday 22 September: Fungus Walk
An early autumn walk led by Michael Senkans (Ziggy) Biodiversity Officer with  the City Ecology Unit.
Meet:  Beauchief Abbey Time still to be fixed.

The next Committee Meeting will be held on Monday 11th June 2018. Please use the telephone numbers in the right hand column if there is an issue you would like to have discussed at the meeting, or if you are interested in joining the Committee.

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

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

Beauchief Nature Park – the new path:
Members of the Monday Group have spent several sessions clearing a new path for walkers on the Nature Park. This leads from the end of the car park and up through woodland at the edge of the site, parallel to the Holly Path. Towards the top end it passes through an area where whips of native trees have been planted this season. This makes a really pleasant and interesting walk, and though a bit slippery underfoot at present this will improve with drier weather. By planting plenty of native trees we hope to do our bit towards maintaining woodland habitat in Sheffield. Sadly, ash die-back, currently taking hold in many areas of the country along with other tree diseases brought into the UK on imported trees, are set to change our landscape in a major way. One thing we can do according to the Woodland Trust is simply to plant native tree species, if possible making sure they are British grown. As a voluntary group we have now obtained more young trees from OVO Energy who have previously supplied these for the Nature Park free of charge.

Beauchief Nature Park: Beauchief Drive, opposite Gulleys Wood
On Monday afternoon 30th March, lots of BEG people turned up in perfect weather. After a brief reminder of the project, and look at the plan to discuss the best tree layout we divided into two groups to measure and mark out planting spaces with stakes. Some used a pedometer, and some a tape. We were working directly into freshly turned sods, as the digger and tractor moved soil alongside us, quite safely. The area designated to be the forest garden was roughly marked out but the edges could be flexible. The group thought that a winding path through would be the most suitable and this was marked out with stakes. The final layout looked very exciting and professional.

As a follow-up, on Monday 13th April, twenty people came to help plant the 30 fruit trees, some from BEG and some allotment holders too, which was good because the work proved somewhat harder than was initially imagined. The trees came in 12 litre pots and were brought in by Ed from the Council Woodlands Dept along with some compost, stakes and ties. BEG provided tree guards to protect the stems from possible rabbit damage as we already had a large stock of these left over from previous hedge planting sessions. After Ed had given a demonstration of how each tree should be planted and staked, the volunteers split into groups and began the task. Some holes were quite hard to dig as the soil was drier than expected rather stony in places. Each tree received some fresh, moist compost around the roots before the hole was re-filled and the tree staked. Each was then mulched with wood chip barrowed down from the pile stored on site. We were very pleased with ourselves when all the trees were in place and we stepped back to have a look. An excellent and rewarding morning’s work, well worth the effort put in. After a few days with no rain the Monday group helped Ed do some watering and soon afterwards leaves began to appear and even some flowers. There will still be a lot more to do in later months and another planting session in late autumn. 

Trees planted in the orchard (Phase 1)
Apples: Bramley’s Seedling, Christmas Pippin, Egremont Russet, Ellison’s Orange, Fiesta (Red Pippin), Golden Delicious, James Grieve, Herefordshire Russet, Red Falstaff, Scrumptious, Tickled Pink (Baya Marisa)
Greengage: Old Green Gage,
Damson: Merryweather,
Plums: Guinevere, Marjorie’s Seedling, Victoria
Cherries: Morello, Stella, Summer Sun, Sweetheart; unfortunately Sunburst did not survive the summer dry weather.
Pears: Beurré Hardy, Concorde, Conference, Doyenné du Comice
Walnut: Broadview or Buccaneer,
Hazel (Filbert)

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet:
The restoration project at the Hamlet with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is in hand. The large water wheel is currently being restored. At present the area over the wheel is covered to protect it from the elements and so far a new beam has recently been installed to replace the one which was rotting away. You may have noticed a new learning and visitor centre being built on what was the overflow car park. The building is modern and eco-friendly and will accommodate new interpretation material and facilities for learning. The cafe and shop will also be located there, freeing up space in the old hamlet buildings for other uses. The project aims to encourage wider use of the site by the community throughout the year, and support and help from local community groups is being sought. The grounds need quite a lot of work to be done in order to make the site more welcoming and suitable for people with disabilities. Specialist contractors will be needed to carry out the difficult jobs. As BEG has worked at the site in previous years, we have been asked for our help once again. The staff at the Museums Trust hope that we may be inspired to offer further help as the project progresses.

LITTLE WOOD BANK: - Habitat Management Update
On 9th November 2015 three of us met John Gilpin, the Woodlands Officer, to walk the whole area in order to review/update the management of Little Wood Bank. During the walk a number of important tasks were identified to be undertaken at different seasons of the year, either by BEG or the Woodlands Dept. The main open area of gorse scrub was inspected and it was clear that since coppicing some years ago healthy re-growth had been successfully achieved. Some of the gorse had grown “leggy” again so these particular bushes are due to be re-coppiced so that dense, low cover can be maintained. 
The holly on the Bank has increased considerably over recent years and Mr Gilpin suggested that this could be thinned out in a few places and these were identified. (See Monday group reports above). The removal of some saplings from areas intended to be kept open was also suggested and this will be added to the list of winter tasks. It was arranged that the Rangers would use their flail mower to help us cut back particularly dense brambles and thick vegetation from the edges of the meadow and other open areas accessible to the machine. Woodlands were also to deal with some broken, and possibly dangerous, tree branches, which I believe has now been carried out. In addition to the above the annual haymaking is to be continued and the Monday group will keep an eye out for when other maintenance tasks need to be tackled.

NEWS – what’s been happening recently

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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: September 2017 - April 2018
Monday 30 April
Eleven members turned up this morning; one at Hutcliffe Wood and the rest at the Barn. Equipment was transported to the Hutcliffe Wood path where two steps were inserted to complete last week's work near Hutcliffe Wood Road and another added at the Abbey Lane end. It was estimated that there was still quite a lot of steps required to complete the work.
The remainder of the Group managed to get both mowers working at the Barn though the control mechanism of the new mower was partially dismantled. Efforts by our engineers restored it to working order. The meadow area of the Community Orchard was mown and grass strewn on the adjacent wilderness. Grass and weeds were cut around the hedge saplings surrounding the wood storage area and the car park and they do now look very healthy apart from one or two specimens. We were concerned about the prospects of only two cuts per year of the orchard grass. From the amount of growth that had already taken place since March, it will be a jungle by September and well beyond our equipment's capacity to cope with it. Is it an area of biodiversity or a Community Orchard?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 18 December
For our final meet of 2017, we had seventeen people arrive, one short of a full complement. The final attack on the Little Wood Bank Gorse was undertaken along with the Bonfire. Over 40 Golf Balls collected along with Litter and the remains of a multiple Wheelie Bin Fire by the Bench.

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.

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]


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

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

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