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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are having to change to date of the field visit that was planned for this Saturday, July 13th. The new date for the Dearne Valley Meadows field visit is Saturday July 20th. Sorry for the late information on this.
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
Planning for our Autumn Winter programme is taking place. If anybody would like us to include something please drop us a line. As usual we are aiming for an array of field visits and indoor meetings. Nature inspired along with the many scientific processes behind them.
This evenings field visit is to Royd Moor Reservoir Local Wildlife Site (LWS). Meeting on Royd Moor Road, Thurlstone at the footpath towards the reservoir for a 7pm walk start. At grid ref SE224041, or Google Maps type in Royd Moor Road, Thurlstone. If you have an interest in the nature around us feel free to come along.
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
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.
We are working on our next round of programme events for our indoor meetings and field visits.
If there is anything you would like us to try and arrange please contact us. We are always open to ideas.
While our outdoor field visits tend to concentrate on the plant and animals we come across; and many are based on a specific topic; our indoor meetings often include a wide range of topics that takes into account the very diverse aspect that influence the nature we experience. With site history, human activities and planning being just the tip of the iceberg.