Support Barnsley’s biodiversity?

You can …

* Volunteer with a local project or activity.
* Help organise a local project.
* Lend your expertise to advise on projects or developments.
* Help update and monitor Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan.

You can get involved in the BBT

* Follow us on social media and better still join our mailing list.
* Come along and participate in one of our open meetings.
* Help organise or participate in our community-based projects.
* Offer to give advice on an occasional basis when needed.
* Join a group that updates and monitors biodiversity plan actions.
* Become a trustee.

Many of you are already helping to support Barnsley’s biodiversity

You may be a volunteer with organisations like Garganey Trust, RSPB, Woodland Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust or a local neighbourhood group. Another way you can help is by letting the Barnsley Biological Record Centre have records of sightings so that they can be used to protect and conserve wildlife. Let us know if you want to know more.

Looking for volunteers

The Barnsley Biodiversity Trust itself is looking for volunteers to help with the organisation of future community projects. Proposed projects include Swift and House Martin Conservation, mapping of Bluebell and other woodland flowers, recording Veteran Trees, and conservation of glow-worm and butterfly sites and wild flower meadows. Please get in touch it you would like to help organise these projects or would like to participate.

And lastly if you would like to lend your expertise or skills to help the Barnsley Biodiversity Trust support biodiversity either on an occasional basis or by joining a group that monitors the biodiversity plan and proposes and monitors new projects then we would like to hear from you.

We would also like to have some more trustees. Expertise in ecology, land management, biodiversity conservation or project management is desirable; enthusiasm for the conservation of wildlife is essential.

Dunford bridge development

National Grid have submitted a planning application to take down eight pylons in the Dunford Bridge area in a ‘visual improvement project’ to ‘enhance’ the landscape there. It sounds good but will involve major harm to the habitats along the TPT and river Don corridor and within the Wogden Foot designated local wildlife site.

Barnsley Biodiversity Trust does not support the proposals and has objected to the planning application. 

The damage and loss to biodiversity includes
* Loss of at least two Willow Tit territories
* Loss of connectivity of scrub, trees and habitat as a wildlife corridor
* Damage to the habitats and disturbance on the designated Local Wildlife Site

Here are our BBT responses:

BBT further response II National Grid VIP proposals

BBT further response National Grid VIP proposals

BBT response National Grid VIP proposals

The planning application however was approved and the scheme is going ahead. 

Sheephouse wood development

Barnsley Biodiversity Trust expressed concern at the clearance of Ancient Woodland prior to the planning application for a site within Sheephouse Wood. We stated that if the planning authority determines that there are exceptional reasons for granting approval and that ‘the public benefit clearly outweighs the loss of habitat’ then there must be a much more clearly defined compensation strategy relating to the remaining areas of Ancient Woodland in and near Sheephouse wood. Subsequently the application was withdrawn.

BBT response: Sheephouse wood proposals

New Woodland Wildlife Toolkit

An online Woodland Wildlife Toolkit, developed by wildlife conservation bodies and published in early 2019, is a great resource. 

The toolkit was developed by the Bat Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Plantlife, RSPB, Sylva Foundation and the Woodland Trust.

Within the toolkit you are able to search for wildlife species* in a woodland you help manage or visit, get an overview of your woodland condition after doing some simple surveys (proformas provided), look at various woodland guidance for practical advice on management techniques and issues, read species fact sheets which include the woodland management that the species needs, and gain access to management plan templates and the myForest web tool developed by the Sylva Foundation.

Feedback is welcome for improving the toolkit however as it stands it is a great resource for anyone interested in woodlands and their wildlife.

*If records held on national datasets. Local records may be more comprehensive

Revised Barnsley Biodiversity Plan (BAP)

BAP coverWe want to let everyone know about the work done to revise the Biodiversity Plan, the additional information provided, and the new priorities and approaches adopted.

You can see the revised sections of the Biodiversity Action Plan at: barnsleybiodiversity.org.uk/biodiversityplan.html.

The sections on woodlands have been recently revised.

We would like your comments. Please give them here.

Barnsley Biodiversity – a general meeting for all those interested

Barnsley Biodiversity meetings are an opportunity to network and exchange news about what is happening locally for biodiversity. Everyone is welcome. We have a meeting on Tuesday 13 February at 7pm at Barnsley Town Hall. As the meeting is the annual general meeting, there will be the opportunity to elect trustees. There will be a number of updates and reports as well as a session on the way ahead to promote Barnsley’s biodiversity.

You can come along as an individual or as a representative of a group or organisation. Please let us know if you can come or if you can’t but would like to be invited in future.

Barnsley Biodiversity Trust is made up of individual members and representatives of organisations with an interest in biodiversity in Barnsley. Together we raise awareness of biodiversity and promote the conservation of local wildlife and habitats.

Please remember that you can read more about Barnsley Biodiversity and the revisions being made to the Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan on our website: www.barnsleybiodiversity.org.uk with more news on Twitter @Barnsleybiodiv and on Facebook | Barnsley Biodiversity

Garganey Trust ‘Wings across the Ings’ project

BBT supported the planning application by the Garganey Trust for wetland habitat creation and changes in farming practice at Broomhill Flash and the land bordering Bulling Dike together with further wetland habitat enhancement work at Doveside. The habitat creation and enhancements will provide longer term benefits to wildlife by contributing to the connectivity and scope of the nationally important wetland habitats in the Dearne Valley. Barnsley council approved the application.

Barnsley Butterfly Atlas project

Butterflies in Barnsley borough have generally been well recorded over the decades, however the last butterfly atlas showing their distribution and abundance locally was published in 1999! As a result we have only patchy data locally to analyse and monitor any significant trends of key species during the last 18 years, that’s where YOU can help!

Sorby Natural History Society is mapping Barnsley’s butterflies and day flying moths – and needs everyone’s help! We need more records to produce a detailed atlas of all butterflies seen in Barnsley since the year 2000.

How can you help? Send in existing records to invertebrates@sorby.org.uk or to barnsley biological record centre.

See barnsleybiodiversity.org.uk/records.html for information on wildlife records.

One way is to walk around – or just sit in – your garden or another green space in Barnsley and send in records of the butterflies you see.

The project was launched at a meeting in Elsecar Heritage Centre on Tuesday 2nd May 2017.

The decline of the Willow Tit in the UK has made it a conservation priority species.

Geoff Carr and Jeff Lunn have published a study in British Birds reporting on the apparent increase in the breeding population of Willow Tit in Barnsley and the Dearne Valley over the last 25 years. [See previous post on Willow Tit surveys May 2015]

They report that Willow Tit has taken advantage of the scrub along disused railways and post-industrial land in our former coal-mining area as well as the areas of wet woodland. Their study combined a quarter of a century of historical records with recent data from surveys launched through the Dearne Valley Nature Improvement Area project.