Monday 15th February:Nature's Year by Allan Parker (Todwick)
Monday 17th October: Garden Wildlife (1) - Mammals & birds by Penny Philco
Monday 14th November: The Tree Charter by Matt Larsen-Daw
Bluebells and Conservation Work
We are aware that a number of people would like to see the wonderful display of bluebells inside Gillfield Wood in May, but find it difficult to negotiate some of the stiles and footpaths along the way. Distance is also an issue understandably for some people. So please do remember you can access the wood with ease from the west end of the wood; that is at the bus terminus on the main Baslow Road just below Dysons on the outskirts of the village. You can get a bus there and back if you wish, or there is a small area for one or two cars to park off the edge of the bus turning circle or you can of course walk there. But if you do go by car, please do not to block the entrance to the main metal gate which “our” local farmer Edwin Pocock regularly uses to gain access up to his fields and sheep on the north side of the wood.
If you do use this entrance to the wood, within a few metres along the solid wide footpath you will have trees either side of you; the large conifers on your left and what we refer to as the “new plantation” on your right, the latter having been planted twenty plus years ago. This ride is a delight to walk in spring with its colours and the sound of birds calling and singing, and you might be lucky enough to see here, in the dappled light, butterflies, bees, hoverflies and dragonflies because the Friends of Gillfield Wood have actively been trying to keep the ride open to the sun and at the same time improve the habitat for a wide variety of fauna and flora.
And then, a little further along the ride, when you reach the wooden gates into the main body of the wood, you will see the bluebells you have been seeking, if you have of course timed your walk right. Banks of bluebells bless the south facing slope of the wood on the left, where the Council and members of the group have worked hard to thin out the trees in this area. This work has opened up the canopy and allowed more light in to encourage the ground cover below to grow; it certainly has had the desired effect. The group, together with Council Ranger, also put in place the gates and repaired the long dry stone wall, so if you get a second do take a look at their handiwork; the group are somewhat proud of its achievements.
We do hope you enjoy your walk if you go, and if you can venture further into the wood there is a spectacular display of bluebells either side of the main path. And please remember there is a colourful and informative leaflet the group has produced relating to the wood, its surroundings and history. If you would like a copy please go onto the website or contact the group direct, or pick one up from either the Post Office, the Cross Scythes or the Library.
Members of the group have also been working hard to try to improve the main footpath inside the wood in an effort to reduce the number of muddy sections, but it is certainly not easy to be successful in this respect with the weather as it is in winter! In addition they have continued to work on the picnic area at the west end of the wood so that it will hopefully be, in time, a swathe of wild flowers in front of the two tables that are sited there for all to enjoy the tranquillity and views.
If you happen to be interested in helping with the group’s conservation work please contact Andy Brewster on firstname.lastname@example.org. There is always light work as well as work of the more strenuous kind. Working parties consist of ladies and gents, of different ages and abilities. Andy is the group’s leader for these events and co-ordinates the work with the Council. We normally meet once a month on a Sunday at 10am and are away by 1pm but you can come and go as you please. Tools are provided and no experience is necessary. “Our” Council Ranger supervises operations and he also provides the much needed and appreciated tea, coffee and biscuits. It is always a good friendly atmosphere with plenty of chatting and laughs. We do hope you will consider joining us.
If you are in your late teens why not come along and give conservation work a try. It is definitely rewarding; perhaps you can add it to your CV or make it a part of your Duke of Edinburgh.