Getting to work in Sheffield …………

Getting to work in Sheffield ………… go to work on a log??

Courtesy of the Sheffield Telegraph 

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AMEY Laughing all the way to the bank in Sheffield……

AMEY Laughing all the way to the bank in Sheffield……

Unbelievably for a local authority now desperately short of cash because of increasingly punitive cuts by central government, they are paying out an additional £700,000 of local community money to AMEY.

This £700,000 is in addition to the £2.4 billion contract already in place and is ‘… in compensation for delays in the tree felling programme because of the Independent Tree Panel‘. The latter deliberated on many trees threatened by the chop but even when it recommended saving a tree, most were felled anyway……….Unbelievable!

The payment of additional ‘blood money’ comes at a time when the local authority (Sheffield City Council) is putting a unique piece of local heritage – Birley Spa in Frecheville – up for sale.

The remarkable Victorian Spa and its grounds are a hugely important resource for local people in one of Sheffield’s less affluent areas. They also had a £500,000 renovation programme around fifteen years ago – but since have been allowed to descend into a state of dire neglect. This really is unforgiveable. The £700,000 would go a long way to saving the site for future generations ……….

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In search of the beautiful damsels …….

In search of the beautiful damsels …….

Female Banded Demoiseselle

Christine Handley commented on my recent blog article on Emperor Dragonflies on. ‘We often get these on ‘my patch’ around Woodhouse Mill and Shire Brook Valley. My ‘gold star’ records of the week for dragons and damsels were Broad-bodied Chasers egg-laying and a dozen male Banded Demoiselles all at Woodhouse Washlands. I was one of the first to record the Demoiselles in the area – they had hitched a ride on the water crowfoot that the Environment Agency had put into the River Rother to improve the water quality and fishery and now they breed locally and are seen every year’.

I replied that when I helped set up the Woodhouse Washlands Nature Reserve back in the 1990s, I then produced the management plan / vision of a ‘pondscape’ with a target of around 50 new ponds over 25 years or so. My recollection of the first Banded Demoiselles on the river was about the year 2000 but I might be a few years out. At nearby Beighton Marsh, which was another reserve I initiated, we got Sheffield’s first ever record of Emperor Dragonfly which was broadcast as it happened on Radio 5 Live with Sheffield wildlife media star Chris Baines! In recent decades we have then witnessed a major re-colonisation of the region by a diversity of damselflies and dragonflies – and long may it continue.

There are two main species of Demoiselle that occur reasonably widely, the stunning ‘Beautiful Demoiselle’ which is most common in the south-west and west, and the ‘Banded Demoiselle’. The latter is the one that we get around Sheffield, always close to running water, and only with a generally southerly distribution though it is extending this northwards. Today it is found increasingly along watercourses and is one to watch out for from the River Don to the Rother and all its tributaries. However it got here it is certainly a nice addition to our riverside fauna. The one I pictured is a female taken close by the Rother at Poolsbrook near Eckington. Mainly a tropical group of insects, the Demoiselles are also called the ‘Agrions’ and are in the family Agriidae. I wonder if the Beautiful Demoiselle will also show up in our area; that would be rather nice.

Male Banded Demoiselle

One picture here (the female) is from the River Rother near Sheffield, and the other is of a stunning male Banded Demoiselle taken in the garden of Hereford Cathedral – which is close-by the River Wye and that is a clean river full of water crowfoot – the demoiselles’ favourite water-plant!

River Wye at Hereford with white flowers of water crowfoot

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Daily Mail Fox article June 22nd 2018

Daily Mail Fox article June 22nd 2018 – and thoughts about the incident where a woman in her bedroom was bitten by a fox…..

There is of course always the possibility of someone taking in a fox-cub as a youngster and then tipping it back out into the wild as an adult  – but by then it has lost its intrinsic fear of humans and human dwelling-places – may not be the case here, but you just never know.


With wild animals, especially predators, we need to give them space and respect!

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Sheffield Street Trees now in the major German-language newspaper too …..

Sheffield Street Trees now in the major German-language newspaper too ……….


My quote apparently says ‘According to ecologist Ian Rotherham from Sheffield Hallam University, the lifetime of the trees Amey wants to remove is not over. “They survived the pollution of the last century”, says Rotherham. “Today the air is clean, they’re fine, they can go on for another hundred years. ” Rotherham quotes a study from 2007 before Amey appeared on the scene, according to which only 500 of the 36,000 trees along the roads were to be replaced.’

Link to the digital version:

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Meet the Dragons of Sheffield 11

Meet the Dragons of Sheffield 11



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Breaking News: New feature on street tree issues

Breaking News: New feature on street tree issues

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