Monday, 4 February 2019


Dear All

Just a reminder about the ……..

Litter Pick in the Gorge, 
on the Warmsworth side near the fish pass 
and on the Sprotbrough side on Nursery Lane 
on Saturday 9 February from 9 am to 12 noon

We would love to see you there.  Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear.  Meet either near the Fish Pass or near the Boat Inn.  Equipment will be provided.

To add to the news about the missing litter bins last week, we have had another incident of vandalism this week when one of the hides had its windows, ledges and seats smeared with black grease.  It almost makes you want to cry that some people are so intent on causing damage and being so disruptive of people’s simple pleasures in this way

Our meeting last Friday 1 February at St Mary’s Church Hall was once again a great success.  Sixteen people turned up, despite the snow and cold, to spend two hours chatting and remembering amid laughter and amazement that such things were possible.  Sheets of paper were spread around the room with lots of different topic headings so that people could write their memories down, and a couple of interviews were begun with scribes doing the prompting and writing.  Since then, I have spent a day and a half typing these up so that their stories can be continued at future meetings or in individual interviews. 

We agreed we should meet monthly and this will take place on the last Friday of each month until April 2020.  The next meeting will take place on Friday 22 February 2019.  We have a long list of people wanting to be interviewed and their memories will play a large part in the book that is produced at the end of that time. 

Meetings are open to anyone interested in sharing or learning about the history of Sprotbrough Village from 1925 to 1965, so do feel free to come and meet other enthusiasts, as well as to tell others about it. 

For information, the address for the SOH Blog which provides all the news about this can be found as follows:

Or just by searching for Sprotbrough Oral History

Do look us up and follow our activities.

If you have visited Sprotbrough woods in the last week or two, you will have noticed that quite a lot of tree felling has taken place.  I have already written what I know about it on the blog, so please check it out.

Liz Reeve, Secretary

Tel: 01302 313030

Saturday, 2 February 2019


I thought I should try and clarify what is happening in Sprotbrough Plantation.  This part of the wood is not considered a SSSI and is managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust on a long lease.  No work had been done in the woodland for many years and, therefore, many trees had grown too close together, thus restricting the growth of them all.  Since they took over the lease, the Don Gorge Conservation Volunteers have helped YWT with thinning over the past two or three years near the top on the right-hand side of the right-hand fork.  Apparently, YWT considered it also needed doing on the left-hand side as well and a contractor has been hired to do this.  I agree a lot has been taken out, so this is not really thinning and it does look awful at the moment.  I can, however, agree with Dave Glover's comment that this will let in lots of light and should promote growth of plants and flowers which has been restricted for a long time now.

Having had a conversation with one of the contractors, I am told some re-planting will take place, though I haven't had this confirmed by YWT.  The wood taken out, which has been many lorry loads, will be used for firewood as apparently it was not good enough or big enough to plank.

At present, I haven't been able to locate who is responsible for the felling near the bridge on Nursery Lane.  I will write again when I hear back from those I have contacted.

In the meantime, a SOLD sign has appeared on the woodland on the right-hand side corner of Nursery Lane and Cadeby Lane.  The purchaser is not yet known, but there are some Tree Preservation Orders on this land and the biodiversity officer at DMBC informs me that they would not agree to felling taking place here.

I hope this clarifies the situation to some degree.  I was shocked when I saw all the timber coming down the lane past my home and went to see the large area of land cleared, but we can only hope it is worth it in the end.  No doubt the next thing will be the electricity board contractor clearing trees under the power line which goes up the wood.  Last time they didn't just take a swathe under the lines as normal, but cleared the land right to the footpath edge!

Liz Reeve, Secretary, Don Gorge Community Group

Tuesday, 13 November 2018


Excellent visit to BDR Waste Treatment Facility, Bolton Road, Manvers, Rotherham, today.  

The plant deals with 250,000 tonnes of household rubbish a year from Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham.  It recycles about 15% of this (after most of the reclyclable material has already been collected in our blue bins) and produces electricity on site to power the plant.  It also send lorry-loads of material to Ferrybridge to produce more electricity for the national grid.

Organised by the Don Catchment Rivers Trust, a dozen visitors were given a very informative presentation of how this company came to be chosen, the plant's construction and the processes involved  in its working.  We were then kitted out with hi-vis jackets, boots, gloves, safety glasses and helmets before touring the site.

Saturday, 6 October 2018


Our Calendar is now available for the price of £6

Contact Liz Reeve at
Telephone: 01302 313030

Get the reduced price of £5 if ordered or purchased
before 31 October 2018

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


Had a lovely day on 14 July when we joined with Warmsworth's Environment Group and the Don Catchment River Trust to advertise our work. 

Visitors were welcomed to our stand to see what's happening in the Gorge, including Caroline Flint MP and her husband, Phil Cole.

The theme for the day was the 1940s and a few people dressed for the part, including Rachel Walker of Don Catchment River Trust, who won first prize.  Well done to her.


Tuesday 17 July saw a joint volunteer day with friends from the Canal & Rivers Trust and Don Catchment River Trust when some Balsam bashing was done and work on the walling project continued.  The weather has been very good to us over the past few weeks so progress is going well, but it also means weeds are growing apace and need to be controlled.  Perhaps another day should be arranged when Friends can join in the 'fun' and all frustrations can be taken out on the Balsam.  A War on Weeds has been declared on all invasive species, particularly Japanese Knotweed, by the Environment Agency  and the River Stewardship Company of Sheffield who will be carrying out eradication work along the Don this year.    There is only a little Japanese Knotweed near the fish pass, but there is a patch on private land at Lower Sprotborough that needs attention from the farmer.  This work is very expensive to carry out, but needs to be dealt with, as it spreads very easily and can then become a nightmare.  

A surprise visitor to the volunteer day was Paul Adam, author and film-maker, who is trying his hand at documentary making.  I and others were asked to take part and I was interviewed about our group, our aims and the work we do.  His film of the River Don, showing how the water quality and wildlife has improved and increased over the last 30 years or so, will be shown next year at Sheffield DocFest and we hope to be given advanced notice so that we can arrange to go and see it. 

We are now looking forward to The Don Discovery Day on Saturday next, 21 July, and hope to see lots of you there.

Thursday, 12 July 2018









(behind the Boat Inn)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018


Don Gorge Clean-Up Day, Saturday 7 April 2018

Please note that this event has been cancelled once again due to recent flooding.  A new date will be arranged when conditions improve.