All newcomers are very welcome to join in our events in the Moss Valley.
These are of three different kinds: social walks, recording walks, and conservation working days. Please dress accordingly and bring a packed lunch unless stated otherwise. Please also note that all participation is at own risk, according to your own assessment, as we do not provide insurance cover.
For the social walks, we almost always have a Bluebell Walk in late April or early May, sometimes an Autumn Walk in September or October, and sometimes a Winter Walk in early January.
These are posted well in advance on this page of our website, and emailed to all who have asked to be included on our contact list. This also applies to any short-notice changes of plan, usually because of bad weather. All are welcome to turn up on the day, but letting us know in advance is helpful to the organiser and enables us to update you. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult with responsibility for them. Dogs are welcome but should be on a lead and under control throughout the event.
Our recording walks take place roughly fortnightly from late April to early November, and are different in several ways from the social walks. Their only purpose is to monitor every kind of species in order to keep our almost forty-year record of the Valley’s wildlife as up to date as we can. We also send our records in to the central database held by the Sheffield Biological Records Centre.
Numbers have to be limited, and dogs cannot be brought along, so as not to disturb wild birds and animals before we have had a chance to see them. On the other hand, more sharp eyes and ears mean more records, especially of species which are easily overlooked. We therefore aim for a minimum of four if possible, and rarely go above eight. For reasons of weather and people’s availability, final decisions about date and place usually have to be confirmed with only a very few days’ notice.
So if you have sharp eyes or ears, and especially if you are confident about identifying certain types of species, please email Oliver via our Contacts page if you would like to be put on the recording-walks email list (saying whether you are happy to be on the open To list or would prefer your address to be Bcc’d). We will then consult you about which dates you can and cannot manage, and email you about when and where each recording walk will be when decided. Details are only provided to those already on the recording walks email list, not via our website.
We also sometimes ask other organisations to do a recording walk in the Valley, especially Sorby Natural History Society. These have their own arrangements, and are usually advertised to their members via the monthly Sorby Newsletter. (We strongly encourage people to join this excellent, hundred-year-old society). We notify recording-walk supporters by email, and try to keep our Events page up to date with the details of any Sorby or other events of relevance to the Moss Valley.
As regards conservation work, we currently need volunteers to help us clear bramble roots and bracken from a sapling-invaded wildflower meadow near Lightwood Lane, and bramble and gorse-stump roots from a neighbouring scrub-invaded meadow. Both of these meadows are part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a national designation, for its unusually rich variety of flowers and other kinds of wildlife.
We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you. We also welcome your own records of interesting wildlife sightings. Please email these (with sharp photos if possible) to Oliver via the Contacts page, giving the date, and with location details down to the nearest 100 metres if at all possible.