Whitwell Moor, near Stocksbridge, is an area of former Grouse Moorland with heather and grassland areas and a beech plantation at its southern end. Eleven of us, led by Doug Brown and Chris Tomson, visited Whitwell Moor on the morning of Tuesday 3rd October. We gathered in the rain at the western end of Long Lane.
There’s a plantation at one end of the moor, and owing to the weather we first went there, finding Russula, Bolete, and Amanita species. Porcelain fungi being one of the prize species.
As the weather improved we headed towards the open moorland around the trig point where the terrain is acid grassland. We thought that this area might be good for waxcap species but we found other species.
The party then headed back along the ridge, looking at an ancient stone wall a site that made millstones in the plantation.
The moor is part of the Broomhead Estate and is no longer managed for grouse shooting. We were keen to have to see any changes due to the natural progression of the moor since management was withdrawn.
The moor was no longer a mosaic of new and old heather. Scrub and some trees had taken hold; Birch and Bracken were spreading. Rewilding?
Finally better weather brought out butterflies including Red Admiral.
Saturday 14th March On this field visit we will be led by Doug Brown; looking at the trees in Cawthorne Park. With the recent restoration work in the park it is expected to still be muddy in places. Please dress for the weather The meeting point will be the main car park at Cannon Hall; SE272079, post code S754AT. Meeting for our usual 10am start. This is a pay and display car park, £1 for two hours and £3 for all day. For anybody travelling by bus you need the 94 route from Barnsley. This is a limited service on Saturdays. Please check time with the service operators; it is a approximately one hour travel time and then a walk to the meeting point.
Wednesday 4th March The wildlife photographer, John Gardener, will be with us again. With a compilation of wildlife photographs. There are always great images and John gives quite some insight into both the wildlife and how he takes the photographs.
On Saturday 8th February, we have a field visit to Rockley. Our leader for this will be Geoff Jackson. There is usually plenty to see on our, now annual, visit to Rockley. As the weather is some mild just now we could be in for some early sightings. We will be meeting at 10:00 amat the car parking area for Rockley Furnace on Rockley Lane which is opposite to the entrance to Rockley Abbey Farm S75 3DS (Grid Ref. SE337020). Please take care not to block any of the residents access when parking. If needs be please park under the MI flyover and walk back down to the meeting point
The area is usually quite muddy; please dress for the weather; boots, hats, gloves etc…
On Wednesday 5 February, we have a presentation on ‘Hedgerows in the Landscape’ by Catherine Artindale. It covers their history and importance in the landscape as well as their natural history. Catherine led two very popular and informative field visits last year – to hedgerows in the Stairfoot and Hoyland areas. Where we tested out the Hooper hypothesis on dating a hedgerow. It will be interesting to hear more, from Catherine, about this topic.
Room 11, Barnsley Town Hall, 7 pm, Wednesday 5 February Experience Barnsley Entrance. The security staff will advise you on the room number; if we have had to move for any reason.
Wednesday January 22nd. With the diversity of our members personal topics being so vast, this is a highly interesting evening. Filled with short talks, photo and video clips, as well as hands -on samples for us to observe. Fell free to add to the evening or just come and see what others have brought along.
Our members presentation evening was, as usual, action packed with a wide range of topics. Both hands-on and projected images. May I offer a very big thank you to everybody for their presentations.
Our field visit on the morning of 11 January is a circular walk along Barnsley Canal and Wilthorpe Marsh.
We are meeting at 10am in the car park down Smithies Lane opposite The Fleets (a former pub now a Barnsley College sports centre). Grid Reference: SE346078. Postcode S71 1NL. If the car park is full, there are local side streets. Bus number 12 runs regularly down Smithies Lane: the 09.37 and 09.52 buses from Barnsley Interchange get there for 10am.
“Sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses have knees that bend to the ground.”
This little witty rhyme may be used to separate these three plants into there correct category. The stems of sedges and rushes are solid; in cross-section the stems of rushes are round, while those of sedges are triangular and so have edges.
This coming Wednesday December 11th we have our Christmas Social. A selection of food will be provided by members of the committee, but you are welcome to bring something along too. We have also arranged tea, coffee and soft drink.
This field visit will take place at the Anglers Country Park . Our group leaders for this field visit are Colin and Linda Graham. Colin and Linda will be giving us an insight into the Gull Roost at this park. This is a popular area for winter ducks too.
We are meeting at 1 pm in the main car park at Anglers Country Park, Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, WF4 2EB, grid reference: SE375153. Good footwear and warm clothing may be a good idea. The cafe there will be open when we arrive.
We do have a later start time for this field visit of 13:00.
Our next Barnsley Naturalists meeting is Wednesday 27th November.
Tom Aspinall, from Moors for the Future, is our guest speaker for the evening. Tom is giving a talk on bumblebees and solitary bees. This will include identifying the different species, where you may find them, their behaviour and life-cycle. Lots to interest us. All welcome, Barnsley Town Hall, 7pm.
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.