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Wood pigeon

Wood Pigeon

Birds in Autumn

Wadsley and Loxley Commons
Sunday, October 27th

17 people attended - Only 6 species.

This was extreme bird watching due to gale force winds. We battled our way to the top car park through sunshine and showers but most of the birds were keeping their heads down. In fact we saw very little apart from Magpies and Wood Pigeons. We all agreed it had been a memorable walk for extreme weather.....not birds.

Fungi Foray

Wadsley and Loxley Common, Saturday 21st September 2013

Steve Clements from the Sorby Fungus Group introduces himself to the Fungi foragers before the walk on the common on a sunny Saturday morning in September.

Fungi Foragers
Amethyst Deceiver

Amethyst Deceiver

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric

Cup Fungus

Fibre Cup

The weather was lovely and we saw numerous fungi, some not identified on the common before. A good crowd enjoyed Steve and Chris's amazing knowledge of the subject and many agreed the walk had inspired them to look for fungi when out and about.

Steve’s comments on eating mushrooms:-
'You can eat any mushroom, but some only once!'
‘There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but no old and bold mushroom hunters!’
‘The mushroom you eat may not be poisonous but you may be allergic to them.’

If you would like to read more please click here to download a PDF file with more information and photographs.

Bird Walk

Saturday, March 23rd, Wadsley Common

Very snowy, 0 degrees C, 3 people attended,
19 species seen.

Extreme Bird Watching!
After 24 hours of heavy snow, I was very surprised at anyone wanting to go bird watching in such arctic conditions. Initally there was very little bird life, apart fron the odd Magpie and Woodpigeon. However things did improve as we spotted a flock of Redwing. The top car park proved to be a birding hot spot when we put down some bird food. We had good numbers of Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Nuthatch and Song thrush. On our return we saw a Jay, and a flock of Lapwing flew overhead.

Star bird: Yellowhammer.



Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer
Chaffinch

Chaffinch
Dunnock

Dunnock
Birdsfoot Trefoil

Birdsfoot trefoil

Wild Flower Walk

Wednesday, June 19th 2012

15 people attended and we identified a total of 52 species of flowers on our pleasant evening walk, together with 5 species of grasses. The Highlights were Birdsfoot Trefoil, Orange Hawkweed, Tansy and Yellow Rattle.

There was terrific interest in the flora, and, as most people brought along wild flower books, we had great fun identifying individual flowers.
John Robinson

Orange Hawkweed

Orange Hawkweed

Tansy

Common Tansy, or Bitter Buttons, Cow Bitter, Mugwort, Golden Buttons.

Sunday 20th May 2012
WALC Kite Fly!

The day dawned cloudy with little wind, but, desite the weather conditions, an amazing amount of people turned up to the Common to fly their Kites! There were all sorts of kites, a shark, a hexagonal 3D box kite, a dragon, and, best of all, several home made kites. Walc awarded a prize (a chocolate bar) for the best one. Most people managed to get their kites in the air but not for long. A good time was had by all, thanks to Wadsley Brownies, Guides, Cubs, Scouts, Beavers and everyone else who came along, we hope to see you all next year!
Robin Garside

Lots of people!

Everyone arrived together, what a surprise!

The Winner

The winner of the home made kite competition!

People having a picnic

People enjoyed their picnics on the grass.

A flying Shark?

A flying shark?

stunt kite

A stunt kite

Stone Circle?
Above:- a picture of the possible stone circle. Some of the stones are hidden under moss and dead bracken.

Stone Circle latest

Sunday 25 March

The Sheffield Conservation Volunteers spent the day helping to clear regrowth of birch around the area where the small stone circle (possible) was mapped the week before, between the trig point and Loxley Edge. Wadsley and Loxley Commoners searched the area a few days before and although they saw birds squaring up to each other to establish territory, they did not find any starting to build nests. The brash was chipped later on in the week. This will be the last felling/clearance this spring.

Below and left:- a couple of pictures of Sheffield Conservation Volunteers working on the Common.

Stone Circle Survey

Sunday 18th March 2012

For many years there have been rumours about a stone circle on the common, so WALC obtained permission from the landownlers, Sheffield City Council, to do a non-invasive survey of the area in which we suspected the circle would be. The day started cloudy but the weather soon improved and seventeen or eighteen people turned up to help or just to have a look at what was going on. Most of us were completely ignorant of what to do, but fortunately Michael, a professional Archeologist, knew just what to do so we received instruction and got cracking on the survey.

The volunteers

Volunteers have a cuppa before starting the survey.

We had a very enjoyable and informative day on the Common, thanks to Michael who patiently guided our novice hands and explained enough to get some very interesting results. Please keep an eye on the Diary page of this website if you want to help WALC survey the features of the Common, we'll be revisiting this, and other sites, as soon as possible, your help would be much appreciated.





Volunteers receive Instruction

Above:- Volunteers receive instruction.

A baseline was set up and we started measuring rocks and drawing them carefully on tracing paper, a very painstaking process, but soon, results began to appear. We were very excited to see a small circle of stones appearing on one of the drawings from the measurements made on the ground. This doesn't mean we have definitely discovered a Neolithic stone circle, but it does mean there is an interesting feature which merits further examination. Much more measuring will have to be done and experts will have to examine the resulting data before we can say what this circle of old stones is, but it was very interesting!

Below:- the drawing showing the circle of stones.

Drawing of a stone circle

Left:- Measuring rocks from the base line.

The sun shone and we all learned something as well as having an enjoyable day outside. It was a great pleasure being on the Common, the weather was pleasant and I couldn't think of a place I'd rather be.


Birds in Winter

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

On a freezing cold morning, sixteen people turned out with one aim in mind, to go birdwatching on Wadsley Common.

We started by sorting out the birds in the Rural Lane car park; mostly Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock and Magpie, until a lovely Song Thrush burst into full song. Once on the Common, several flocks of Fieldfare flew overhead in a north-west direction towards the golf course; these thrushes are winter visitors from Scandinavia and are alwys on the lookout for juicy berries. Very soon two more birds were vying for our attention, one was a handsome Bullfinch and the other a magnificent Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Discussing birds

Birdwatchers in action

Above:- Spotting birds on the Common.
Left:- John Robinson explains some of the finer points of Birdwatching.

This charismatic bird co-operated by perching in the very top of a tree allowing everyone stunning views through a telescope, one lady was particularly delighted at seeing her first woodpecker. For some time now a local couple have been feeding the birds in the top car park, as a result of this it has become a hot-spot for seeing common birds like Great Tit, Blue Tit and Chaffinch, so this is where we went next and managed to add Nuthatch and Yellowhammer. Thank you Mr and Mrs Maycock.
In order to complete the walk back to the Rural Lane car park, we skirted Aldene Allotments where we added Treecreeper and Goldcrest, which made a grand total of 23 species and a fitting end to a rewarding winter walk.


Sunday 12 February 2012

Man carrying brash


Four members of WALC joined the Sheffield Conservation Volunteers to continue with the work of cutting back the birch trees and saplings on the common. The Volunteers brought 18 of their members and worked in the quarry area to cut back the birches and remove some of the smaller regrowth. Following an introduction of the work that the group would be doing during the day from Alan Bailey the new members were given the all-important tools talk. The fire was found to be burning when the volunteers arrived that morning. The birch trees that were felled were chipped by the Ranger service.

Left:- Man carrying 'Brash'
Bottom Left:- Waiting for the Chipper.
Below:- The all important 'Tool Talk'

Chopped down Birches

Desolation? Or Knot?

At first sight the picture on the right looks like a scene of desolation, and, in a way, it is. But this is something WALC have wanted to see for a very long time, it is dead Japanese Knotweed! The Knotweed has been poisoned in a very ecologically sensitive way, each stem is injected with a poison which breaks down on contact with soil, so no cross contamination with plants, trees or animals is possible. Before now, the Knotweed had to be completely dug up and taken to a secure dump at a cost of many thousands of pounds, but this method is not only more effective, but much more cost effective. A win for the Common, but death for the dreaded Japanese Knotweed!

Volunteers listening to the Tool talk


Dead Japanese Knotweed