Tuesday, 23 June 2020


Further to this item in our latest Newsletter dated 21 June 2020, I have an apology to make. 

It has been discovered that, due to a misunderstanding, it is not possible for the Don Gorge Community Group to organise a litter pick on Friday 26 June as CRT are not carrying out any volunteering activities for groups at this time and it is considered that the organisation of such an event by us would be too onerous in terms of supervision and the provision of santised equipment and personal gloves, etc.

So, to clarify: CRT’s challenge is that individuals or families should consider picking up items of plastic as they take their daily walks along river or canal banks.  In this way, families would be responsible for observing acceptable social distancing and each group would be responsible for their own equipment necessary to avoid the transition of Covid 19,   Staying within the guidelines set out by the government is essential at this present time.

I am attaching below the link to CRT’s Challenge so that if anyone would like to register for the scheme they may do so.  It is obviously not necessary to register, but would show a level of commitment and support for the Challenge.

Apologies again for the previous misinformation.

Monday, 22 June 2020


Get active to fight plastic
Every year an estimated 14 million pieces of plastic end up in and around our canals and rivers. Why not join the Canal & Rivers Trust’s  Plastics Challenge?

It is a bit last minute, but now that restrictions are being relaxed, we have decided to pick up this challenge by doing a litter pick this Friday 26 June, meeting at the container by the lock at 9.30 am, though I feel sure someone will be near the car park on Nursery Lane to distribute sacks and litter picking equipment for anyone who turns up. 

The CRT’s interest is particularly in relation to canals and rivers, so I expect it will concentrate on the Trans-Pennine Trail, the Island and around the Fish Pass.  However, picking anywhere within the locality will be greatly appreciated.  The more helpers that turn up, the better, so tell all your friends.

Hello again everyone. 

Can you believe it’s the longest day today!  It seems only a short time since I wrote last February and yet so much has happened in the meantime, with the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown since the end of March.  On a personal level, it has been horrendous, with break-ins, thefts and further damage being caused to our home and those of other residents at Lower Sprotborough, so that we now worry about starting any renovation due to the possibility of further criminal activity.

None of that, however, has had any impact on the popularity of the Gorge as visitors have flooded in (no pun intended) on a daily basis since before the lockdown, regardless of social distancing, and the parking has been worse than ever, not helped by the Boat Inn car park being unavailable.  On several occasions cars have been parked all the way up Nursery Lane and on double yellow lines from the car park to the Boat Inn entrance, including inconsiderate parking across the access to the lane to the woods, so that residents have been unable to get in or out.  It is also unacceptable for cars to park in front of the gate to the river bank when the turning space may be required for the farmer and delivery or workers’ vehicles involved in the cottage renovations.

This was held in March and we welcomed Ian Carpenter as our new Chairman.  I feel sure he is going to prove to be an excellent choice and will lead us on to better things.  Cllr Alan Bennett, representing Warmsworth Parish Council, was elected Treasurer and other committee members are Cllr Cynthia Ransome, representing S&C Parish Council, Steve Swift and Paul Allot of Sprotbrough and  Mark Whittaker of Warmsworth.

Free Trees
Just to update you on this.  The trees were planted and it is hoped they are now growing well, though I must admit I personally haven’t been able to go and check.

Co-op Community Fund
This fund is progressing very nicely and we have already received nearly £3000 from donations from Co-op members, so a big thank you goes out to all those lovely people who have chosen our group as their designated charity this year.  The final grant will come in October, so there is still time for anyone who shops at the Co-op to become a member and choose us.  There are shops at Askern, Cantley, Doncaster and Edlington, including funeral parlours.

“Sprotbrough Oral History: From Rural Estate to Real Estate”
Unfortunately we had to cancel meetings during the lockdown, but the ‘home-time’ has given me space to make good progress with the book and I am now just waiting for the last three contributors to send in their final amendments.  I am also hoping that we will all soon be able to meet again for a group photograph for the book, which has been impossible so far.  It will then go out to a few ‘readers’ for checking before going to the printers.  I am now hoping it will be out around the end of July. 

Liz Reeve

Tel: 01302 313030
Mobile: 07918124040

Saturday, 11 April 2020

SPROTBROUGH ORAL HISTORY: From Rural Estate to Real Estate

Won’t be long now. 

The Sprotbrough Oral History project will soon be ending and the book, 

‘Sprotbrough Oral History: 
From Rural Estate to Real Estate’ 

should be available by Summer.

 It tells about life in the village from cradle to grave, from 1925 to 1965, and contains the history of the village, as well as biographies of some of the oldest families living there and of some of those who were able to purchase land to build their own homes after 1925. 

More details later 

If anyone is interested in buying a copy, advance orders are now being taken: please email me at

SOH.lizreeve@gmail.com. Thanks.

Saturday, 4 April 2020



I hope all our Friends are keeping safe during this difficult time.

I have been asked if I would circulate the following information regarding Helplines which can be accessed within the Doncaster area.  

Please feel free to use them or keep a regular check on the Healthwatch website or Facebook site to keep your eye on any changes which might come into force over the coming weeks, as they are updating both on a regular basis with  key information and links:

www.healthwatchdoncaster.org.uk/coronavirus    and our social media channels are sharing regular updates:

There is also regular information and updates shared through Doncaster Council’s website:

and through a Doncaster official Coronavirus Facebook page:

To access help and support from Doncaster Community Hub call 01302 430300, email  enquiries@dncommunityhub.org.uk   online chat  www.dncommunityhub.org.uk   

The Local Hub based at the Dome is providing:

A Helpline  7 days a week from 8.00am to 8.00pm – anyone can ring this if they are vulnerable and have no other support or if they know of someone who needs help

An email service to access and request support

An online chat service daily from 8.00am to 8.00pm

Practical support such as urgent food supplies, shopping, collection of medication and checking up on vulnerable people

Signposting and connecting people to others in the local community and ideas for ways to keep well during this difficult time such as exercising at home, keeping connected; to friends and family or just finding someone to talk to  

A place for those who want to volunteer and help to co-ordinate this with existing voluntary and community organisations

You can also access the following for more information

Wednesday, 25 March 2020


The following has dropped into my email box and appears to be addressed to anyone with an opinion to put forward, so I am publishing it here.  It will perhaps be a bit of a challenge in itself to many people, but I feel sure it contains information of interest to many, so please feel free to participate in any way you think fit.

A message from the Environment Agency

"Corona virus is causing concern across the country for everyone. We wanted to update you about how the Environment Agency and our Environment Programme team has changed its working practices in response to the Covid19 advice from Government.

We are following guidance, and therefore all our staff will work from home, unless there is a critical need for alternative working.

As you might have experienced, we have been having connectivity issues, some linked to our own systems, and some due to national demand on the network. This week we have put in place arrangements for different ways of working to accommodate so many staff working from home, this has resulted in restricted, but more predictable and reliable network access for staff.

We are all making a quick transition in these difficult circumstances. As a result of the important restrictions, our Environment Programme team capacity will be reduced for the following key reasons; 
  • We are working with colleagues to support critical parts of the business, such as pollution response, asset or high risk inspections and national communications; our update EA Strategic Objectives are listed below. 
  • As individuals we continue to work, but many at reduced hours as we support our families and provide home schooling/ child care. 
This does mean that elements of the Environment Programme work may have to be slowed or postponed, but we will also be pooling our resources to make sure that we support our partners and your priority work.

We appreciate you will also be adjusting your ways of working, and so do update us how we can best support and work with you, and to highlight your priorities.

If we haven’t already, we will be in touch shortly with regards specific projects.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and support at this challenging time, we look forward to continuing working with you to deliver more great work for the environment across Yorkshire."
Challenges and Choices consultation

The deadline for the Challenges and Choices consultation remains unchanged at 24th April 2020. The Don Network will be sending in a response, based on existing data and information - in particular the information gathered through the catchment plan review workshops.

If your organisation will no longer be able to submit a response or meet the deadline, please do let us know so that we can feed this back to the Environment Agency. 

Thursday, 13 February 2020


I’m afraid there isn’t a great deal to report this time as the November flood is still taking its toll.  My husband and I were evacuated from our house and spent 4 weeks in a Premier Inn before going on a long arranged holiday and returning to temporary accommodation.  The whole event has been quite traumatic and picking up the pieces has been very difficult.

Don Gorge Volunteers
However, our volunteers have continued to turn out on their regular sessions and have been hedge laying on the Trans Pennine Trail or working in the woodlands.  The Weirside project, ie wall building near the fish pass, has had to be halted because of flooding, but we have been given an extension  by Groundwork for Tesco Bags of Help and hope to finish it by the end of the Summer, fine weather prevailing.

Free Trees
The Woodland Trust have donated 105 trees to plant near the fish pass and they will be arriving by the middle of March and we expect to have a planting day early in April.  So check it out with me nearer the time.

Co op Community Fund
We have been very lucky to be chosen as one of the three main recipients of the Co op’s Community Fund this year and so far over £700 has been raised for us.  This is 1% of members shopping bills who have chosen to support us, so if you would like to join them by becoming members and choosing us, it only costs £1 to join and you would be doing us a great favour.  The nearest shops to us can be found at Mexborough on Adwick Road, Wheatley, Woodlands and Askern.  There is also a Co op Undertakers at Edlington which might be something to remember as that would count as well.

“Sprotbrough Oral History: From Rural Estate to Real Estate”
Our monthly meetings have been going really well, with the Christmas Party on the last Friday in November before the Christmas break.  Food was provided by Meryl White, writer of Grandma Abson’s Cookbook, and fruit cordials by Cllr Cynthia Ransome.  Quite a number of personal interviews have been held and we are hoping the book will be ready by early Summer.

Don Gorge Community Group AGM
This will be held prior to our next meeting on Monday 9 March 2020 at 10 am at Martinwells Centre.  We do not have any members as such, but anyone is able to attend as an observer.  Nominations for officers and committee should reach me by 2 March.

Liz Reeve