Wednesday 18 May saw our annual evening visit to the Gunthwaite area, walking from Gunthwaite dam to Gunthwaite Hall Farm: ancient paved tracks, field paths, hedgerows, pastures, woodland and an impressive veteran tree.
There were lots of woodland flowering plants alongside the tracks and in the woodlands, although this year the summer migrant birds were missing.
Eight Barnsley Naturalists joined the Yorkshire Naturalists Union Botany Group exploring the flora of the springs and fens of the magnesium limestone just over the Barnsley border, near Barnburgh. An impressive area with an array of Great Horsetail described as primeval!
There was a change of plan for our field visit on Saturday 9 April. We went to Nabs Wood near Silkstone Common looking for the first woodland flowers. Nabs Wood is a Woodland Trust site. We were intending to go to Bagger Wood and the nearby Lower Lee Wood, which are Woodland Trust woods as well. However both of these have had recent work done and looked rather bare. As well as the emerging flowers, we looked for invertebrates and fungi
On Saturday morning, 12 March, we visited Carlton Marsh Nature Reserve. A mix of reedbed, fen, scrapes, marsh, meadows and wet woodland makes Carlton Marsh a great place to visit, enjoy some birding, and spot signs of Spring!
Cliff Gorman who has been involved with Carlton Marsh over many years joined us and posted this account on the Barnsley Bird Sightings blog:
The Barnsley Naturalist Society visited this morning providing the following: 4 Buzzards in the air together, 5 singing Chiffchaffs, 1 singing Cetti’s warbler, 3 singing Reed Buntings, 1 yaffling Green Woodpecker, 1 Linnet, 1 Greenfinch, a male Grey Wagtail and 6 Common Gulls.
The first flowers of Cowslip were showing in the western Meadow along with Dogs Mercury and White Dead Nettle on the embankment.
4 Smooth Newts and a Froglet from last year were found under an old sleeper and a Lemon Slug was under a rock.
A fresh dead Wood Mouse was another interesting find.
It was really good to see old friends from this group again, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Thank you for coming and being so enthusiastic.
Saturday 11 December: Broomhill Flash and Wombwell Ings Our birding visit started at the Garganey Trust hide at Broomhill Flash; we then walked down to Wombwell Ings and looked over both the Ings and the Fleet. Now part of new Dearne Valley SSSI.
Saturday 2 October: Wortley Hall parkland and walled garden.
Doug and Barry led us on a visit last Saturday to Wortley Hall for fungi and veteran trees. A good visit made more exciting by Doug’s earlier discovery of a special rare fungus: one that parasitises and grows out of another!
The greyish parasite fungus (the Powdercap Strangler, Squamanta paradoxa) grows out of the much more common yellow host fungus (Earthy Powdercap)
Saturday 23 July saw the Yorkshire Naturalists Union yearly meeting for south-west Yorkshire. We met near Monk Bretton Priory and walked downstream along the river Dearne. Unfortunately there was torrential rain but we made our way through the dense vegetation along one side of the river, had lunch sheltering under a viaduct, and after some botanising in a meadow made our way back along the other side.
Midsummer in a Worsbrough meadow Our first Nats evening nature walk in 2021 was on Wednesday 23 June to Worsbrough Country Park. We used the wider paths and more open areas to help with social distancing.
We enjoyed exploring the flowering plants in a meadow and seeing chimney sweeper moths in an area with their food plant pignut
We regret that the meetings on the Barnsley Nats programme for Wednesday 18 March, 1 April and 22 April will not take place; and field visits are suspended. In the meantime look out for shared news and information. It’s a result of the escalation in the Covid-19 virus situation and government advice.
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 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.