The most recent issue of our Newsletter, the ninth, was issued on 18 July 2022 and is available by clicking here.
Previous issues are available below.
Flood Alleviation in the Limb Valley (29 September 2021, updated August 2022)
Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust are leading a partnership project with the Environment Agency and Sheffield City Council to develop and deliver an integrated programme of nature-based solutions, designed to reduce the flow of floodwater and provide wider environmental benefits in the Limb Brook catchment area. Roy Mosley, Head of Conservation & Land Management for the Trust, spoke on this in a public talk on Tuesday 28 September 2021 as part of an event that also included our General Meeting.
This work is now progressing well. More information on this project is now available at https://www.wildsheffield.com/discover/nature-based-solutions/limb-brook/. Information on the wider “source to sea” scheme of which the project is part can be found in the Environment Agency press release of March 2020.
Cafe (16 December 2021)
On Thursday 9 December, in the Sheffield Telegraph, Sheffield City Council posted an Open Space Notice giving notice that it proposes to “dispose of an area of land which consists or forms part of an area of deemed open space”. This notice caused much consternation and confusion. The confusion extended to our understanding of which area of land was involved. It is not the compound referred to in our previous posting here but the derelict toilet block and the area next to it. The Council has issued the following apology and clarification on its Facebook page:
We wanted to provide you with an update following the Public Open Space Notice that was displayed in the Sheffield Telegraph last week, regarding Whirlow Brook Hall. The notice, which referred to the ‘disposal’ of Whirlow Brook Hall, was incorrect and misleading and has understandably caused some real worry and concern over the last few days, which we are very sorry for.
To clarify, no land at the Hall is being sold – the proposal refers to the derelict toilet block and the area next to it, on the driveway, being developed and leased. The term ‘disposal’ has to be used in the legal notice due to the proposed length of lease (over 7 years) but does not mean the land is being sold.
The notice was to inform the public of our proposal to offer a lease for the development of a café and toilet facility, which we have been working with the Friends of Whirlow Brook Park on for a number of years. A consultation on the plans has been extended until 20th January, to give everyone the opportunity to share their views via the Sheffield City Council website. The plans will be made available online later this week. We are once again sorry for the unnecessary confusion and worry this has caused. We are really excited about this fantastic opportunity to enhance the facilities in this wonderful park, and look forward to sharing more positive news with you on this as it develops.
The plans and related documents are now available at the Sheffield City Council website.
Update on Felling of larch trees (5 November 2021) Further to the item below dated 10 August 2021, we have been informed by the Council that this work is now scheduled for mid-November. To quote their message:
Please note that this year’s programme of forestry work is scheduled to start from mid November 2021. Following a Statutory Plant Health notice issued by the Forestry Commission the Council will need to fell all the diseased Japanese larch from the above infected area (Rough Standhills, Limb Valley). Regrettably several other trees will need removing as they will have been left unsafe and not windfirm (i.e., they would be at risk of blowing over) following the removal of the Japanese larch. The attached plan identifies the extent of the planned clear-fell and felled areas of the predominantly coniferous timber plantation at Rough Standhills. The clear-fell area is scheduled to be restocked during the 2022-23 planting season.
Site information signs have been posted on site since early summer and further warning signs will be in place during working hours. The harvesting work in area “A” should be completed by the end of December 2021 and felling in area “B” by the end of February 2022, weather permitting.
The areas referred to as A and B can be seen on the map below. More detail can now be found on the Council’s web page on the project or in the Council’s document that appears below the map and includes answers to 20 “Frequently Asked Questions”. To navigate through the document click on a page and use the arrows at the bottom left corner.
As you may be aware, the Council will also shortly be beginning work on the removal of Ash Dieback affected trees in various nearby locations including Ecclesall Woods.
Felling of larch trees (10 August 2021)
At a meeting with Sheffield City Council, the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust on 9 August, we were informed about the serious issue regarding diseased Japanese larch trees in the Limb Valley. Following the Forestry Commission’s aerial survey in the spring of 2021, ramorum disease has been found in these trees. This disease is caused by infected spores entering the tree through the needles and the spores can be carried by moisture in the air. Nearby trees and woodland can then easily become infected. All the larches in the Rough Standhills planation, and about 50 larches in Bole Hill on the other side of Limb Brook, are to be felled. Sweet chestnut trees and rhododendrons are susceptible to ramorum and will also have to be cleared, as will those Corsican pines that are adjudged to be unable to withstand strong winds after the removal of neighbouring larches. This work is expected to be done in October and November 2021. As a consequence there will be temporary closure of some of the footpaths in the Limb Valley. The cleared area is to be regenerated as mixed broadleaf woodland and, to protect the new growth, will need, initially, to be fenced off.