Phoenix Park: Saturday 10 June

View of Phoenix Park on our field visit

Our next field visit is to Phoenix Park near Thurnscoe. It’s a general nature ramble on a restored colliery site, now managed by The Land Trust. Grasses, wildflowers, hopefully insects if warm enough, birds and woodland.

We’ll meet as usual at 10am and stay until around 1.00pm.

Meet at the main car park for Phoenix Park on Barrowfield Road, Thurnscoe. Three words: //save.prepared.perfected [!!] Grid Reference: SE461052. There are brown signs to Phoenix Park from the A635 roundabout junction with the B609.

A joint field visit with South Yorkshire British Naturalists’ Association.

Netherwood visit 24 May 2023

Our field visit on Wednesday 24 May was to Netherwood Country Park and Nature Reserve, at the side of the river Dove, between Wombwell and Darfield.

As well as the river and large ponds, there are open grassy areas, scrub and a bit of woodland. Not much in flower yet but it was good to identify what was there, as well as other wildlife.

We managed 13 birds including Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler. The young of the Greylag and Canada geese were a delight!

Our nine insect species included Red & Black Froghopper, the Soldier beetle: Cantharis rustica, Redheaded Cardinal beetle, and 7 spot and 14 spot ladybirds as well as Early bumblebee, Red tail bumblebee and Common carder bee.

Of particular interest were the Oak Current Gall, the gall wasp of which creates oak spangle galls in a later stage; and a spiral gall on some fantastic Black Poplar trees.

New Hall Farm -Saturday 13 May

On our field visit on Saturday 13 May to New Hall Farm, between Ardsley and Darfield, David and Helen Rhodes showed us their approach to arable farming which aims to encourage wildlife whilst ensuring their farm is viable; they maintain hedgerows and hay meadows, and have a variety of features that support birds, insects and other wildlife. It was a really interesting visit.
More later.

Adwick washlands —22 April 2023

Our Saturday 22nd April field visit to Adwick washlands, was led by Linda Graham in association with Colin and Linda’s birdwatching group. It’s a familiar area of farmed fields transformed into wetlands, wet grassland and marshes; a rich site for breeding waders including Avocets.

A total of 56 bird species were seen, the highlights included Lapwing chicks, many Avocets on eggs, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Bar Tailed Godwits, a Sandwich Tern, a House Martin, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler and a Kingfisher.

Field visit: Veteran trees at Cannon Hall—Saturday 18 March

Around 20 people joined our field visit that was postponed to Saturday 18th March to measure some veteran trees at Cannon Hall. We mainly looked at the notable oak trees below the stream and lake, coming back past the old yew tree.

If you’d like some information on ancient and other veteran trees, and how to recognise them, just let us know.

Rewilding —what’s it all about?

Glen Feshie –an example of rewilding

Chris Tomson is giving a talk on Rewilding on Wednesday evening, 22nd February at Barnsley Town Hall. Your chance to find out ‘what’s it all about’!

Chris’s illustrated presentation looks at the larger rewilding projects including Glen Feshie, Carrifran, Haweswater and Knepp but also looks at smaller scale projects in Yorkshire.

We are really looking forward to Chris’s talk and the discussion it will no doubt generate. It’s an opportunity to learn more about a hot topic.

Everyone is welcome at this Barnsley Nats event, so if you know someone who would be interested, do let them know.

Wednesday 22nd February, Barnsley Town Hall, 7pm.

[use the Experience Barnsley Entrance and ring the bell on the left of the door to get in]

Carlton Marsh Field Visit

Now with SSSI status, its mix of reedbed, fen, scrapes, marsh, meadows and wet woodland makes Carlton Marsh a great place to visit, in any season. 

It was quite quiet when we visited; we were pleased to see the two Whooper swans, as well as mallard, moorhen, gadwall and almost 20 teal; and in the bushes some dancing long-tailed tit. And of course we looked at the fungi, lichens and plants.

A highlight was searching for over-wintering herald moths!

South Yorkshire Natural History Day 2023

A good number of Barnsley Nats folk joined naturalists from across South Yorkshire for a programme of talks and chat on Saturday 18 February. Highlights included a tour of Brockadale nature reserve and the story of Scruffy the Crow! We’re looking forward to next year’s day of natural history.

Click on the blue link for the programme.

Programme to September 2023

Here is our programme to September 2023.
From April it consists of fields visits on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

There are two indoor meetings: a talk on ‘Rewilding’ by Chris Tomson on February 22nd and a talk on ‘True Bugs’ by Stuart Foster on March 22nd.

You can see the programme on the ‘Programme’ page. To see it here without downloading it, just click on the blue link.

Aspects of Biodiversity in Barnsley

Header for online Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan:

‘Aspects of Biodiversity in Barnsley’ was a presentation given by Peter Roberts at the Barnsley Nats meeting at Barnsley Town Hall on Wednesday 25 January, following the AGM. His presentation included lots on the landscapes, habitats and wildlife found in Barnsley. He touched on the problems they face as well as on what we should do to conserve them. Peter also covered the importance of wildlife records and the role of the Barnsley Biological Record Centre.

His talk was based on the information in the Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Have a look, it’s online at Comments welcome!

The records that Barnsley naturalists and others provide are really helpful. Let’s carry on recording the wildlife of Barnsley.

Nats Christmas Social 2022

A trip down the microscope with Howard, Jill’s Christmas Quiz, and Cake!

Thank you to everyone who came to our Christmas Social; a nice get-together.

Thanks especially to Howard for his great presentation exploring the microscopic world — how he, together with Alwyn, matched the music with the movements was brilliant!

Thanks too to Trevor for thinking of showing us the video on the ‘power of nature’. If anyone missed it, we can forward it to you: just get in touch.

And thanks as always to Jill for setting the annual Christmas Quiz. It was a great quiz, and nice to be able to do it in person this time rather than online.

And good to have time together to chat with some cake!

Doug gave out copies of a New Year Quiz —here it is.
[Click on the link to view without downloading]

Here are the answers!

Wildlife on the Yorkshire Coast

Coastline towards Bridlington, seen from Scarborough

Wildlife on the Yorkshire Coast, a presentation by Geoff Carr on Wednesday 23rd November was fascinating. Geoff covered a whole stretch of coastline with great images of the birds and other wildlife to be found. He pointed out for us the slippages down the cliffs that have preserved former grassland habitats now lost above the cliffs. A great talk that provoked a lot of discussion.

Visit to Anglers Country Park

On Saturday 12th November we have a field visit to Anglers Country Park for the birds of open water and scrub; looking for fungi as well. We will start with the hide(s) and go on round the water and possibly into some woodland areas.

We are meeting at 10 am in the main car park at Anglers Country Park, Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, WF4 2EB, grid reference: SE375153.
Car parking free for 2 hours, £2 for 3 hours.