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Saturday 9th November

Fungi

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Our next morning field visit is to the area around Worsbrough Reservoir country park looking at the fungi there.
Geoff Jackson is leading the walk from the main car park [grid reference SE351033] on Park Road along the track on the south-side of the reservoir towards Shaw Bank wood and Rockley Old Hall.
Meeting at 10 am. All welcome.
Please note the car park has a small charge. 

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Change to our indoor meeting

We are having a change of plan for our indoor meeting this Wednesday, October 30th. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause you, but we do have an equally interesting alternative lined-up: We will let you know when Alwyn is able to do his The Discreet World of Barnsley’s Small Blue Butterfly presentation.

Ron Marshall has kindly brought forward his From Catalonia to Finland presentation for us to enjoy.

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The Ascent of Birds:

How modern science is revealing their story’ is the title of our next talk to be given by our guest speaker Professor John Reilly at Barnsley Town Hall on Wednesday 16 October at 7pm. 

When and where did the ancestors of modern birds evolve? What enabled them to survive the meteoric impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? How did these early birds spread across the globe and give rise to the 10,600-plus bird species we recognise around the world today.
John Reilly’s talk sets out to answer these fundamental questions on the evolution of birds. It is based on the latest scientific discoveries and enriched by his personal observations.


All of our talks are open to anyone with an interest in the topic. So please pass on the invitation to anyone with an interest in birds and their history on our planet.

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Wortley Hall Parkland

Our next field visit is on Saturday 12 October to Wortley Hall Gardens and Parkland where the ancient trees will attract our interest alongside other natural history.
The leaders are Doug Brown and Barry Tylee (Friends of Wortley Hall).
We are meeting at 10 am with parking alongside the drive on the way into Wortley Hall grounds.

The Grid Reference for the meeting point is SK312995: The postcode for Wortley Hall is S357DB

There are twenty six acres of grounds to explore at this former stately home, so we should have an interesting field visit, like we usually do.

Many thanks to our leaders, Doug and Barry, on what proved to be a fascinating walk; their combined knowledge is immense. Barry gave us a brief insight into the history of the grounds before we set off. The walk was aimed to be a look at the tree that had been planted over the last 200 years. An arboretum of many American trees which contains a Giant Redwood, a Brewers Weeping Spruce, a Bald Cypress and Black Locus. We had a good look at the grounds possible oldest resident,a Sessile Oak which is estimated at 350 to 500 years of age. One of the group said “if trees could talk what interesting stories would they be able to tell”. This set me thinking too; what could these trees have witnessed. So I intent to provide some additional information; my personal view on on the events that they have lived though along with some fact about the species . We had many other interesting observations too; morel, stinkhorn, fly agaric and jellyear mushrooms and a ladybird larvae to name a few.

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The Ascent of Birds talk

John Reilly’s presentation on ‘The Ascent of Birds: how modern science is revealing their story’ is based on the latest scientific discoveries and enriched by personal observations.

When and where did the ancestors of modern birds evolve? What enabled them to survive the meteoric impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? How did these early birds spread across the globe and give rise to the 10,600-plus species we recognise today.

John Reilly’s talk sets out to answer these fundamental questions.

Open to all. Wednesday 16 October, 7pm, Barnsley Town Hall

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Back From Our Summer Break

Wednesday 2nd October
We are looking forward to seeing you all at the first indoor meeting of our Autumn and Winter Programme. As usual, we start with a members evening sharing knowledge and observations. This of a less formal structure than the meetings with guest speakers. Very much a catch up and news of what everyone has spotted over the break; multi-topic and hopefully with some interesting finds, images and stories. Please take part: it’s always really interesting to hear from a variety of people.

Our printed Autumn and Winter Programme will also be available. 

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September 8th

For those interested, Tom Higginbottom is leading a Plant Gall field visit at Newmillerdam; 10.30 start.  Details -including contact info for Tom are given at https://www.britishplantgallsociety.org/events.html .
The meeting point is in the car park; which operates a Pay and Display system. so please have some change for this; estimated at £1.70. Please bring a packed lunch if you want.

There is also a drop-in bioblitz at Cannon Hall country park: http://www.cannon-hall.com/bioblitz .

Apologises for the short notice on these two activities. These are not our organised activities, so please refer to the links for correct information.

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Looking at a hedgerow with a Naturalist’s eye

This is an addition to our Spring/Summer Programme.

We are continuing our ‘looking at a hedgerow with a Naturalist’s eye’ series on the evening of Wednesday 7 August – with a walk with Catherine Artindale along Stead Lane, Hoyland Common. Again we will be testing the Hooper Hypothesis on dating an hedgerow. This field visit should put our knowledge to the test too. Those of you who helped with the hedgerow survey we conducted in March near Stairfoot will know what an interesting evening it will be. We will be hearing a little about its history as well as looking at the plant species and wildlife of the hedgerow. We will draw our conclusion; the age of the hedge, using the Hooper Hypothesis guideline.

The level of this walk is easy, with plenty of time for discusing our conclusion and resulting age of this hedgerow.

Our walk takes us from Stead Lane towards Skier’s Spring Wood. We are meeting at 7pm at the junction of Stead Lane and Warren View, in Hoyland Common [post code S74 0BZ; grid reference SK361999]. There’s enough road-side parking.
To get there, go down Sheffield Road (the A6135) through Hoyland Common and turn off into Parkside Road, which is the third road on the left from the Hoyland Common crossroads. Then take the second road right which leads to Stead Lane, where you turn right again to get to our meeting place.
Looking forward to seeing you.

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Wednesday July 24th to Barrow

Following an excellent field visit walk along the Mucky Lane hedgerows and through Dearne Meadows on Saturday, we are meeting again this coming Wednesday evening for a field visit to Barrow. Again this should be a highly interesting evening with many of our usual flora and fauna favourites to spot; and hopefully something new too.


We are meeting at 7pm and parking in Edmunds Road just below the Boatman’s Rest pub where a footbridge crosses the river Dove and leads to Barrow along Dark Lane and Powder Mill Lane. Leader Ron Marshall
Grid reference SE 361035 Post Code S70 4TD.
After our walk some of us may retire to the Boatman’s Rest!
Looking forward to seeing those who can make it.

We had to take a slight change of route on the actural walk. Having had a bad thunderstorm earlier that made for some tricky ground. We still had plenty thought to keep us occupied. Amoungst our finds was a horseraddish; which I beleive is the first we have spotter this year.

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Dearne Meadows Saturday July 20th

Our field visit starts from Ardsley, dropping down Mucky Lane to the River Dearne and the meadows that run alongside it; and coming back through Horsecarr wood and back up Mucky Lane.

Meeting for 10 am near the junction of Penrhyn Walk and Ennerdale Road in Ardsley, grid reference SE384059; postcode S71 5DR.

With our Spring / Summer 2019 programme coming to an end shortly, may we say a very big “thank you” to all of our guest speakers and field visit leads.

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Glowworms and Moths

Wednesday July 10th & Thursday July 11th

This field visit is an exception to our usual plans. Not only will we be meeting at a later time, this is to be a two meeting event, with an indoor meeting the following day. The meeting point is Cote Lane, south of Thurgoland (Grid reference SE 291 003).

Our field visit to the TPT near Thurgoland led by Doug Brown and Jill Hayler started with setting up some moth traps; it was getting a little dark for identifying plants but we managed to spot two bat species, common pipestrelle and noctule; and then counted 43 glowworms along the trail.

This was a couple of very interesting and intense meetings for both the 10th and 11th. The glowworm count was over 40; while the moths traps had an array of different species.

The moths recorded were:
GEOMETRIDAE: Riband Wave, Northern Spinach, July Highflyer and Peppered Moth
SPHINGDAE: Elephant Hawkmoth
ARCTIDAE: Buff Ermine and Cinnabar
NOCTUIDAE: Heart and Dart,Large Yellow Underwing, Double Square- Spot, Common Wainscot, Dark Arches, Uncertain, Silver Y and Beauitiful Golden Y
MICRO MOTH: Small Magpie

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Wednesday June 12th

Moorland Birds
Colin and Linda Graham are leading a field visit this Wednesday evening with moorland birds as the theme. It’s along ‘Swinden Lane’ and ‘Hordron Road’ up from the Flouch roundabout above Langsett. 

The Swinden Lane and  Hordron Road walk is 3 to 4 miles altogether. Strong footwear is advisable as it could be very wet. Please let us know if you are intending to join us. 

Parking for the  walk is near the junction of Swinden Lane and the A628 (on the left – travelling west) near Ellerslie Lodge. Care needs to be taken as the lane is used by a number of nearby residents.

It’s one mile west of the Flouch roundabout:Grid ref – SE 18264,01198 (SE182011), Postcode – S36 4HH, Lat 53.507156, Long -1.7260907 

We will be meeting just before 7pm start.

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Saturday June 8th – Wharncliffe Heath

Our field visit this coming Saturday, 8 June, is to Wharncliffe Heath and Crags. This follows the presentation by the Wharncliffe Heathlands Trust earlier in the year about the local nature reserve there with its heathland, grassland, ponds, woodland and even wood pasture. Now we are having some warmer weather we are spotting more wildlife on our field visits. With the trusts plan to manage this site by natural means we should have plenty to see.

Meet on Station Road, Deepcar, at 10am near the bridge over the river Don from which we will walk up to the Heath and Crags. We recommend good footwear. Grid Reference SK291981. Post Code S36 2SQ.

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Wednesday May 29th – Lowe Wood

This Barnsley Nats field visit is to part of the Falthwaite and Lowe Wood local wildlife site which is off the road between Gilroyd and Stainborough.

Led by Alan Crossland, the site includes wooded and grassland areas, a stream and some reedbeds. The Dove Valley Trail skirts the site. It’s a good time to visit for both birds and plants. 

Meeting: 7pm Wednesday 29 May; in the car park area on the way into Strafford Industrial Park off Gilroyd Lane. Grid reference: SE324041; Post code: S75 3EJ.

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Wednesday May 15th – Cortonwood

For this weeks evening walk we have Philip Jay as our leader. Philip will be taking us for a look at the nature around Cortonwood. With Philip working in the area he has seen a wide variety of wildlife; so there should be plenty to see.

Our meeting point is the Asda Living / Halfords car park. Grid ref: SE407014 or Google Maps postcode S730TB. With our usual 19:00 start time

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Wednesday May 1st – Nabs wood

This field visit is to Knabs Wood; Jill Hayler will be our leader for the evening. Our main topic will be woodland flowers. Because of the beautiful weather we have just now this should be an action packed outing; with the late spring flowers merging with the early summer flowers. With the usual multitude of questions from the group, I’m sure Jill will be busy. As usual there will be a keen interest in anything we spot along the way.
Doug Brown will be helping Jill lead the group.
This is a Woodlands Trust site; with more information on the area on their website.

We will be meeting for a 7 pm start at grid ref SE295040 or at the junction of Moorend Lane (S754QZ) and House Carr Lane, for Google maps users. There looks to be limited parking at the entrance to the woods so please take care if you need to park near properties by leaving residents enough space.

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Saturday April 13th

We will be having a look at the Wogden Foot LNR and the TPT. With the recent publicity in the Barnsley Chronicle about work due to commence that will see this section of the TPT being dug-up and out of action for possibly three years.

This will be a field visit with a difference; it is the last planned visit this area, as a group, before this work commences. Hopefully we will be able to obtain a good biological record.

The meeting point for this walk is the car park at grid ref. SE158024 or if you are using Google Maps you need Windle Edge, Dunford Bridge,the car park is across the road from Don View

WORRIED MAN: Doug Brown at the Dunford Bridge Trans Pennine Trail site. Picture: Wes Hobson. PD086696
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Wednesday 3rd April

This is the date for our next indoor meeting:
Wildlife and Management at Wharncliffe Heath LNR.
This will be a joint presentation by Dave Buttle, Albin Smith and Andrew Hill. Their combined knowledge will surely keep us entertained. Presentations about any of the Local Nature Reserves are normally multi-topical and this one will be no exception.

Yet again, for our last indoor meeting of our Spring/Summer programme, we had a fascinating presentation about the work that this trust is doing in the LNR. Thee trust are taking a softer slower approach to restoring the ecology; which is therefore allowing the natural species to, somewhat, lead the way. More details of their work can be obtained from their website at http://www.whtrust.org.uk .
This link will also can also be found on our Links page for easier access in the future.

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Wednesday 20th March

Wings across the Ings – the Garganey Trust is creating new habitats on the farmland between Broomhill Flash and  Wombwell Ings. Some of this farmland is being converted into wet grassland, open water and reedbeds. They have now obtained the final planning consent and work started in February.
 
Jeff Lunn, chair of the Garganey Trust, is giving an illustrated talk on the “Wings across the Ings” project at this meeting of the Barnsley Nats.

There are bound to be lots of questions and discussion; as usual from our members and visitors.

Following Jeff’s talk and questions, we have the Barnsley Nats’ annual general meeting. 

We would like to know how you see the future of the Society, so please come full of ideas and suggestions.

All welcome

This proved to be a fascinating presentation, so many complex issues were covered by Jeff. Along with the nature and conservation, we were given an insight into the history of the Gargney Trust, historical land use of the Ings to securing funding.

Further information about the Trusts work can be found on their website. http://www.garganeytrust.org.uk
This link is also being posted on our Links page to enable easier access.

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The Planning Process and Biodiversity

Our next indoor meeting takes place on Wednesday March 6th. With a presentation by Trevor Mayne. Trevor is Barnsley Council’s biodiversity officer and is back to give us further insight about how the planning process can protect wildlife and encourage developers to consider and perhaps even enhance biodiversity.

So no doubt lots of discussion and questions on this highly complex but interesting topic!

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Hedge Survey Field Visit on Saturday March 2nd

Having a look at a hedgerow with a Naturalist’s eye: Catherine Artindale is leading a field visit to a hedgerow and its neighbouring area in Stairfoot.

Weather permitting we will record plants and wildlife species, see what we make of Hooper’s hedgerow dating hypothesis, look at this brownfield site, see how nature is recovering, and check out a small wood and Yew plantation.

Meeting at 10am in the Stairfoot shopping precinct car park off Wombwell Lane. (near Tesco’s, B & M & Pets At Home )
OS grid reference SE37700509

If coming by car, drive in the main entrance by the traffic lights on Wombwell Lane, bear left and then take the first left into the car park that abuts the main road; it’s opposite Pets at Home (the former Carpetright store).

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Some sad news:

Gordon Bristowe, Barnsley Naturalist and Scientific Society President for over 15 years, passed away early on the morning of Wednesday  6th February following time in hospital and a care home.

We remembered Gordon at our Barnsley Nats meeting on that Wednesday evening.
He was our President for many years, a fount of knowledge on all aspects of natural history, and always ready to share his knowledge.
Originally a ‘birder’ he developed a keen interest in all forms of plants. He surveyed a number of kilometre squares in Barnsley for the South Yorkshire Plant Atlas and contributed his extensive plant records to the Barnsley Biological Record Centre.
Gordon was a keen and expert photographer and was instrumental in bringing the Society – and its members  –  into the digital age. He launched the society’s website, took care of all of the society’s equipment, and supported their use for digital presentations at meetings.
We have many memories of Gordon and he will be much missed.