Join the Eco-scientists & Environmental Historians….in a search for lost landscapes

Join the Eco-scientists & Environmental Historians….in a search for lost landscapes…………………

Red deer stag by Peter Wolstenholme

Sheffield Hallam University and partners are hosting a series of environmental events open to all……and part of our on-going citizen science projects.

Firstly, these show-case current exciting research projects at a 1-day ‘Eco-science & History in the Park’ event, Saturday 7th October at Longshaw’s Moorland Discovery Centre. There will be displays, hands-on activities, and guided walks to see and hear red deer with Andy Alder & Joe Worden, and with Dr Paul Ardron to view sphagnum mosses and Waxcap fungi. Christine Handley & Thelma Griffiths will be examining the ‘Healing Harvest’ of moors and bogs.

Ringing out the sphagnum moss WW1

There will also be students from Sheffield Hallam University on-hand with Dr Naomi Holmes and me to demonstrate on-going work to discover the countryside history of the Eastern Moors and Burbage. Full details and updates are on:

There is no need to book and it is free from 11 am to 4 pm, followed by the red deer rutting walk!

Then on Monday 27th November we have an evening event at Sheffield Hallam University’s Charles Street lecture theatre, with Professor Chris Baines and me giving presentations, and displays and poster papers reporting a host of projects from ‘Shadow Woods’ to sampling the history of peat bogs. Again, students from Sheffield Hallam University will be on-hand with Dr Naomi Holmes to present and to discuss their work. Details, updates, and bookings (free) on:

Finally, we also have a ‘Shadow Woods’ field day on Friday 20th October, to view the recently-discovered areas of Domesday countryside around Owler Bar in the eastern Peak District.

Booking is essential, with numbers limited and there is a small fee to cover lunch at the Grouse Inn, etc.

These events are to engage the public, researchers, managers, and other stakeholders in peatland landscapes and their ecological histories in the Peak District area, so do join us! THEY SHOULD BE A LOT OF FUN TOO

All welcome. For more details check the website or telephone 0114 2724227.

These activities are supported by the British Ecological Society.

Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

Common Boxwood feature

Common Boxwood feature


The full journal issue:

Boxwood Article n. 1 – Ancient common boxwood Toparius Summer 2017 p54 – 56

The Boxwood article: 

Topiarius Summer 17 pages 54 to 56


More to follow…………



Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

BBC Wildlife Magazine article on Wood-meadows ….

BBC Wildlife Magazine article on Wood-meadows ….


BBC Wildlife Magazine Wood-meadow article p64-70 September 2017

Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

A voice of calm and reason………and common-sense….

A voice of calm and reason………and common-sense….


(Caution against a reckless approach to stewardship of Sheffield’s urban forest)

The following letter was published on page eight of Sheffield Telegraph, on 7th September 2017 (on sale for seven days).


“22 August 2017

Dear Editor

Now that the issue of tree-felling in Sheffield has come to the notice of the national news media, I have felt it my duty as Master of the Guild of St George to write to the City Council on behalf of the Companions and friends of the Guild who have communicated their concerns to me. I visit the city rather often and am conscious of a growing anxiety among my acquaintance there.

I think I understand the difficulties the Council must be facing as splendid trees grow old and as those that have matured expansively begin to damage infrastructure and occasion safety concerns. Nevertheless, one of the things that make Sheffield a fertile centre for creativity and humane culture is the sense one always has of living close to the natural world and its processes, something exemplified by the generous spread of trees, young and old, across the city.

This is one of the things celebrated in the work of our founder, John Ruskin. It was his feeling for the grandeur of the Peak District and the need to bring nature into the urban environment that caused him to choose Walkley as the site for his museum, and the same concern informs the modern Guild’s care for its Collection in the Millennium Gallery and its desire to spread the values of that Collection across the city. For the past three years our ‘Ruskin in Sheffield’ project has sought to root those values more deeply in the lives of Sheffield people, and we have been charmed and sometimes amazed by the depth and resonance of their response.

That response must have its origins in the ordinary life of Sheffield – the way nature is woven into the work and culture of the city. As Ruskin would have been very quick to notice, part of that richness has to do with the processes of time. Saplings are very good and necessary and to be welcomed, but there is no substitute for the presence of old and venerable trees that refresh the spirit and contribute to the health of urban life. If trees are dangerous or dying, of course they must be cut down. But there must be no suspicion that the economy and the needs of bureaucracy are being conveniently served by the elimination of healthy trees along with the sick ones.

I have heard that suspicion voiced and I very much hope that there is no justification for it. Of one thing I am certain: if Ruskin were alive today, he would be raising his concerns both in Sheffield and in the country at large, not pointing fingers at those who take responsibility for the city, but wanting to know in what way this mass felling serves the common good. For those looking in from outside, it is hard to believe that it does.

Yours etc.


Clive Wilmer

Master of the Guild of St George”


Content From The Sidney Sussex College (University of Cambridge) Website:

“Personal Biography
Clive Wilmer is one of the English team at Sidney. He teaches the period 1830 to the present day and PRACTICAL CRITICISM. His special interests reside in the areas of Victorian and Modernist poetry, as well as in Victorian aesthetics and SOCIAL CRITICISM.
He is the author of seven books of poetry, the latest of which is his New and Collected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2012). The editor of Penguin selections of John Ruskin and William Morris, he has written and lectured extensively on Ruskin, Morris and Ezra Pound; he is also the current Master of Ruskin’s charity, the Guild of St George. He has published a book of interviews with contemporary poets, Poets Talking (Carcanet, 1994), and Cambridge Observed (Colt Books, 1998), an anthology of writings about Cambridge over the centuries. In 2005 he was awarded the medal Pro Cultura Hungarica by the Hungarian Ministry of Culture in recognition of his many translations of Hungarian poetry. He is currently editing the posthumous Selected Poems of Thom Gunn for Faber and Faber.”
You can learn more about the Guild of St George here:

Posted in Latest News | 2 Comments

Ignorance, pig-headedness, and bullying remain the order of the day for the Sheffield Street Trees strategy

Ignorance, pig-headedness, and bullying remain the order of the day for the Sheffield Street Trees strategy

Phrases like ‘talk to the hand ‘cos the head ain’t listening’ spring to mind as this sorry saga goes on – and is being followed now by a global audience.

Impervious to science, logic, public opinion, and even democracy, SCC and AMEY blunder on with this environmental and PR nightmare. Surreal, unbelievable, and unnecessary! Oh yes, and we are paying for this…….

Posted in Latest News | 6 Comments

Kingfishers add a special sparkle to local rivers…..

Kingfishers add a special sparkle to local rivers…..

Posted in Latest News | 2 Comments

More on Sheffield’s deer……

More on Sheffield’s deer……

Roe deer by Peter Wolstenholme

Check out this article – with more to follow:


And of course, check out the muntjac below – not a ‘young deer’……just a small deer….


Jochen Langbein says:

July 24, 2017 at 10:59 am (Edit)
Sheffield now far from alone any more with urban red deer. Filmed these on a building site on edge of Walsall in West Midlands .

Posted in Latest News | 2 Comments