Hello! Matt Duffy here, Catchment Officer at the Don Catchment Rivers Trust for the Hidden Heritage Secret Streams project.
Nestled on the boarder of Sheffield and Derbyshire the Moss Valley lays. The Moss is actually used as the boundary line between South Yorkshire and Derbyshire which makes using an OS map pretty difficult here. Parts of this beautiful valley are even designated as Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) as it contains nationally threatened habitats and holds many valuable species of wildlife.
The Moss Valley Wildlife Group (MVWG) have been active in the area since they formed in 1982 in order to ‘resist the threat of urban development in the valley, when the City of Sheffield was expanding and to bring together people who have an interest in conserving the flora, fauna and habitats found in the valley.’ As well as organising walks and surveys the group did their bit of practical environmental conservation – working tirelessly for ten years to clear most of the valley of non-native invasive weed Himalayan Balsam (HB), which is why it holds much of the biodiversity it does today.
Here’s an infographic of what effects HB has on wildlife.
Aspects of our current ‘Hidden Heritage Secret Streams’ project were inspired by our activities during the pilot ‘Moss Valley Project’ delivered in 2017/18. Following the completion of this project (read more about this here); we decided we would like to continue to support activities here. We are trying to build on the hard work of the MVWG by implementing a number of management techniques including the management of HB, placement of large woody debris within the channel and tree/scrub control in wetland areas.
Unfortunately, the MVWG has struggled to recruit new members to the organisation meaning they’ve had to reduce much of their activities. We’re currently trying to build up a new volunteer group here so that important environmental conservation can continue to take place. If you think you might be interested in joining us on these days we meet every Wednesday, 10am-3pm. Please see our website for details (https://dcrt.org.uk/events-calendar).
One of our volunteers working to remove Himalayan Balsam
What we’re up against!
Here’s just some of the species we’ve managed to capture on camera whilst working here.
Peacock Butterfly Caterpillar
Snail Hunter Beetle
Sexton Burying Beetle
Dead Nettle Leaf Beetle
Jelly Ear Mushroom