Monday, 10 October 2016


Our first ever calendar of the Don Gorge for 2017 is now available. With thirteen full-colour photographs, it shows the Gorge at different times of the year, as well as showing useful dates and reminders of our Conservation Volunteer working days. It also comes with an envelope so that it can be sent to friends and family. Copies may be purchased at a cost of £5 each and enquiries should be made by email to or by telephone to 01302 313030.

Thursday, 15 September 2016


We currently have three leaflets available, “The Don Gorge”, “Visitors Guide” and “Walks from Warmsworth”, which can be downloaded from our own or the ‘Visit Doncaster’ website. However, we would like to expand our range by producing a series of information leaflets on particular topics. We would therefore be interested to hear from anyone who has expertise in, for example, trees, flowers, birds, geology, butterflies and moths, etc, who would be willing to provide information for such leaflets. All enquiries or offers should be made to the Secretary email: Tel: 01302 313030


Our first calendar, in full colour and depicting aspects of the Don Gorge, will be available soon, complete with an envelope so that it can be posted to friends and relatives. Copies will cost £5 each, but orders may be placed in advance at the reduced price of £4. All enquiries or offers should be made to the Secretary email: Tel: 01302 313030

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


You are invited to register for this walk. Please do so by emailing or texting as per the poster so that they know how many to expect. Many thanks.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


The weathermen promised a mixed day and we certainly got more than we bargained for. Rain in the morning, rain at mid-day and an absolute deluge at closing time, when we ended up like drowned rats as we dismantled the gazebo. But it didn’t deter the youngsters. From 10 o’ clock, they were arriving to take the bait and throughout the day over 50 sat on their boxes with mums or dads in attendance, receiving instruction and dangling their lines in the canal in the hope of catching fish. Surprisingly, to me anyway, many did and were thrilled to do so, even if they were only small ones. The Canal & Rivers Trust were equally thrilled with the response, so I suppose we should look out for more of the same at some time. The start given us when the Co-op sponsored the clean-up near the fish pass has encouraged our volunteers so that anyone now looking over the bridge side will see the great strides that have been made in clearing the balsam. It will grow back of course, but we aim to keep on top of it throughout the summer and will see how successful we have been by the time the seeding period is over. Well done everyone who has helped so far. I have been quite despondent over the litter problem in the last few weeks. It seems to be everywhere. I have phoned the council twice to empty bins, which they have done, but it continues to be a problem throughout the gorge from the Sprotborough side all the way up the hairpin bend to Warmsworth. Signs of drug use have also been found on the car park, along with takeaway food cartons, etc, and reported to the police, who will be keeping an eye on the situation. Users beware! We have recently started a friends group so that we can share information about events which are taking place; anyone who would like their name adding to the list, please email me and I will do so. There is no cost involved, it is just a communication tool, so don’t be shy. On a personal note, our garden has recently been judged for Doncaster in Bloom; anyone who would like to look round may do so, either by ringing the doorbell or phoning in advance if there are more than two or three of you. Donations will be in aid of the Don Gorge Community Group. Liz Reeve Secretary, Don Gorge Community Group 4 Lower Sprotborough Tel: 01302 313030 Email: Blog:

Sunday, 3 July 2016


A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO TURNED UP TO HELP WITH THE BALSAM BASHING YESTERDAY. Although we would obviously have liked more to have joined us, fifteen people did turn out in what started as good dry weather, but eventually turned into a bit of a wash-out, causing us to finish earlier than expected. However, we did have a small litter pick - thankfully not too much around this time - and made quite a good start with the balsam. Thank you also to Dot and Mike Miller and Darren Alexander from the Co-op for providing goody bags, equipment and physical labour throughout the event. Anyone who would like to help with trying to get rid of this invasive plant at any time is welcome to pull a bit out as they enjoy a walk in the area of the fish pass - or anywhere else for that matter. It generally pulls out quite easily and can be left on the ground to rot away. I attach a photo so that those less knowing will be able to identify it. If it gets to the flowering stage, as shown in the photo, it throws out thousands of seeds, all of which are likely to grow the following year.
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes.

Monday, 23 May 2016


We now have a Friends group. Prior to the Tour de Yorkshire, quite a number of people signed up as volunteers to help in any way they could. Thirty-three of them turned out to help with the 'Clean for the Queen' event and 2.88 tons of rubbish was weighed in at the end of it. Since then, we have been asked by the Co-op if we would like to join in their 'Big Clean-Up' fortnight and have taken the opportunity to carry on the good work with an event on Saturday 2 July, which will be just right in preparation for the 'Don Gorge Goes Fishing Activity Day' which is being arranged for Friday 29 July. This event is being organised by the Canal & River Trust in conjunction with Derby & District Angling Association, Warmsworth Parish Council and ourselves and is aimed at family and schoolchildren, to give them information about the fish in the River Don and to have a go at fishing. Let's hope both days are full of sunshine and fun!
However, the FRIENDS group is not all about being involved physically. Some are not able to do so for a variety of reasons, but we welcome them as people interested in the work we are trying to do and who will spread the word for us and tell others about us and events we might be running. We now have about 60 people signed up and would like many more, so please feel free to join us. All I need is your name and contact details, eg address, telephone no, email address. An email address is esssential, however, as it is the main way of communicating. My email is


The ruins of the Copley Pump near the Lock now have an interpretation sign explaining their history. This has been provided by Sprotbrough Preservation Association, so we offer our thanks to them. Our Conservation Volunteers erected it, so thanks to them too.


DON GORGE THIS WAY After months - years even - of trying we have now got a sign directing people to the Don Gorge from Sprotbrough village. For a long time, people have been asking, "Where is the Don Gorge?" but it has been a long, hard slog getting signage in place. We are hoping that another one will eventually take its place at Warmsworth crossroads, but we understand there are so many signs there that they are all being reviewed and ours will be put into the mix when decisions about which are really needed have been made. In the meantime let's give a big cheer for the one we have now. Hip, Hip, Hurray.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


It has been suggested that we do another clean up, supported by the Co-op, on Saturday 2 July. I am currently checking out whether anyone would like to take part in this before deciding either way. I have emailed all known contacts, but if anyone else would like to come along, please email me know so that I can let everyone know if it is going ahead. My email is: Thanks.


Despite the fact that our event had to be cancelled, it was an excellent day enjoyed by many. The Women's and the Men's races were able to cover the same route from Otley to Doncaster and approximately 2000 spectators surrounded the hairpin bends to watch them. The only disappointment was that televsion did not cover our day due to technical problems. The weather was good, apart from a small shower during the men's race in the afternoon, following a bitterly cold day the day before when we were putting up our banner and bunting, sewn by Betty Brockman and knitted by Jackie Humphries and Margaret Bark. Unfortunately someone decided they wanted Jackie's and stole it before we were able to take it down and return it to her on the following Tuesday. Photos can be seen on our website, as well as on the Sprotbrough Tour de Yorkshire Facebook page. I also put a video of both races going round the hairpin bend on my own Facebook page.


This event, held on 9 April 2016, was very successful with 33 people collecting 2.88 tons of rubbish from the Don Gorge. Three parties covered the Trans-Pennine Trail, the Island and the area near the Fish and Eel Pass. Many congratulations were received from members of the public and thanks go to everyone who participated, including DMBC who removed all the rubbish. (See Our website for photographs.)

Thursday, 14 January 2016


I’m sure many of you will know by now that the second day of this event is coming from Otley to Doncaster on Saturday 30 April 2016. What you may not know is that the route is coming via High Melton, Cadeby, down Nursery Lane, over the canal and river bridges, up the hairpin bend and on to do two circuits of Conisbrough Castle before going on its way to Tickhill, Bawtry and hence back to Doncaster. There will also be two identical races for men and women starting at approx. 12 noon and ending about 5.30 pm. The Tour's charity is the RNLI so any money raised will be divided between that and local charities. I have agreed to co-ordinate all activities taking place in the Don Gorge on that day and we hope it will be the biggest party ever seen at Lower Sprotborough, accommodating and entertaining what could be thousands of people, all vying for the best spot to see Bradley Wiggins’ team and all the other international riders who will be taking part. The main purpose of this post is to inform you that it is happening and to ask for your help. Imagine the best community party you have ever been to and think what activities you would like to see included and then be prepared to organise them. Artists, musicians and businesses who have something to offer are more than welcome to contribute or sponsor events. I hope to have a meeting of all those who come forward to help in the not too distant future and hope I will not be disappointed. Knitted or sewn bunting in the Tour's colours of blue and yellow will be required along the route and posters will need to be designed. Old bikes can be painted and positioned around the area nearer the time. Roads will be tidied up and made safe for competitors; hopefully, entertainment will be on hand throughout the day. Preferably, all ideas, with contact details, should be sent to me at the email below or put through my door, though I may be able to handle some phone enquiries. More details will become available as time goes on an will be published on our blog, though I hope to set up a Facebook and Twitter account specifically related to the Tour in the Don Gorge. Keep an eye on too. At this stage, we need to get the information out and ideas in of what and how we can make it the greatest all-age event ever held at Lower Sprotborough. So, come on everybody. Get your thinking caps on and let's make it a day to remember. Liz Reeve Email: Mereliz Cottage, 4 Lower Sprotborough, Doncaster DN5 7NB Tel: 01302 313030 Blog: