News and Events

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My Favourite Tree Number One

Christine McMullen describes her favourite tree, an Ash Tree outside the entrance to St Peter's Church, Fairfield

This ash tree is outside the entrance to St Peters Church, Fairfield. The photo was taken last July. It is wonderful tree and people pass it when coming to find peace in church, visiting the churchyard or waiting under it when they come with babies for baptism or as bridesmaids to weddings or to say grieving farewells to family members and friends at funerals.

I like the breadth of the shelter of the tree and the dappled sunshine and shade which symbolically affects the lives of all of us.

Christine McMullen

Leader Project

Grant funding brings a welcome to the woods

The Welcome Sign to Grin Woods

One of the Summer Interpretation Signs in Grin Woods


Until a few years ago one of the best kept secrets in Buxton was who was the owners of the beautiful woods that surround the town and add so much to its character.

Most locals and many visitors have spent time in the woods, enjoying the trees, the bird song and in May in Corbar the spectacular blue bell display.

They enjoy following the sculpture trail in Grin Low woods or perhaps stopping to pass the time of day with the quarryman who sits on the main route up to Solomon's Temple.

But ask them who owns the woods and 4 out of 5 will look blank before offering the Council as a possibility.

Now with the help and support of the Leader Project, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Economic Development, the woods have welcome signs at the entrances and a range of interesting, informative interpretation signs at key points in the woods, to explain and encourage people to look about them. To add to the interest some of these signs change with the seasons.

So now there is no excuse for not knowing who owns the beautiful woodlands.

And the owners?

Buxton Civic Association of course.

Update on Activities in Grin Woods

Felling and Removal of diseased Elm Tree in Grin Woods

If you have been up to Grin Woods today you will have noticed that one of the Elm trees close to the edge of the Woods has been felled.

The tree was diseased and was considered to be in a dangerous condition and given its location it was felt that it posed a risk to visitors to the Country Park.

The decision to fell the tree was approved by the Derbyshire County Council Tree Officer as the tree was subject to a Tree Preservation Order.

The work was undertaken by Able Tree Services.

The Importance of Trees

A report on Gerald Price's talk on the work of the Woodland Trust - by Simon Fussell

Gerald Price began his talk to members of Buxton Civic Association on the ‘Importance of Trees and the work of the Woodland Trust’ with the story of the origins of the Trust.

In 1972 Kenneth Watkins a Devonshire farmer looked out one day at the wooded hillside across from his farm. He was struck by the thought that, if the grubbing up of trees and hedges continued, the beautiful ancient woodland that was such an important part of his world, would be gone. Burnt and ploughed up in a blaze of subsidies and ‘modern’ agricultural practise.

He decided to do something about it. He bought it. And rather than hide it away behind ‘keep out’ and ‘do not enter’ signs, he encouraged the public to come in, to walk, to linger, to enjoy the shade and the wildlife of the woodland. To share his woodland, if they were responsible about it of course.

Now 45 years later the organisation that he and other enlightened folk started, The Woodland Trust, has 1100 woods and 250,000 members. They have an objective. Currently 12.5% of the country is wooded. The Woodland Trust want this to be 25%, and they are launching a Charter, 800 years after the Charta de Foresta, which provided protection and recognition of the rights of the commoners to the woods and forests, that had been so ruthlessly eroded in the years since the Norman Conquest.

The new Charter for trees, woods and people will provide a set of policies and guidelines to ensure that we protect and cherish our woodlands for centuries to come.

The Trust celebrate trees wherever they are. The urban trees make up a vital and increasingly importance part of our national woodlands. The percentage of land with trees in places such as London and Leicester is around 20%, far higher than the 12.5% National Average. As well as providing a welcome break to the city skyline, they are a refuge for wildlife, and a source of wellbeing for the city dweller.

But of course you cannot plant a woodland, only a plantation. Woodlands take time and evolve over centuries, 4 of them for a decent ancient woodland. They need deadwood to flourish, and insects, animals, plants, fungi and mosses to establish themselves to live and die and provide the lifeblood for the next generation, all across the ebb and flow of a thousand seasons.

For the Woodland Trust, small can be beautiful. A 2-acre wood, where once there was a waste ground, has a beauty and a utility that far out strips its size. It does not take long for a difference to be made. Within 5-10 years the land can be transformed from dull monoculture to the chaotic tangled beauty of a young wood.

It provides a refuge for wildlife, and extra biodiversity, becomes a cherished place to walk or to sit. A place to think. Somewhere to appreciate the rhythm, the hum and throb of the seasons.

And of the Wildwood that once cloaked so much of our island? It is gone. Long gone. We cannot recreate it and it is perhaps best not to try. The wildwood took many millennia to evolve, and who knows it may return. But in its own time and at its own speed.

In the meantime, we have the Woodland Trust to thank for helping to ensure that trees stay important to us and our children.

Big Garden Bird Watch

Come along and take part in the annual bird survey.

We are taking part in the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch this year. Come along to the Cafe at Poole's Cavern and pick up a form and see how many different woodland and garden birds you can spot from the warmth and comfort of the cafe.

Grinlow Butterfly Survey 2016

Increase in Butterflies in Grinlow Bucks the National Trend

The recent report in the Guardian and on the BBC Today programme (10th October 2016) of an overall decline in the number of Butterflies observed in nationwide surveys has been bucked, according to the early results in from BCA's Grinlow Butterfly Survey.

Steve Orridge, who heads up the survey team, reported that not only were numbers of butterflies seen during the survey up on last years figures, the number of species surveyed had also increased.

"We are clearly seeing the benefits that the forest ride brings to the woods as well as the importance of the glades. The increase light and variety of plant species is hugely beneficial to the butterflies." Steve went on " This is only the second year of the survey , but already it is giving us important feedback and information on the health and well-being of the woods."

Peter Philipson, BCA Director with responsibility for the woods also commented "The wildflowers in the glades have been fantastic this year, and this has contributed to the increase in numbers of butterflies and other insect species. A key part of our Woodland Management Plan is to support the increase in Bio-diversity and it would appear that the survey results show this to be working."

A full report on the 2016 survey will be available later in the year. If anyone is interested in helping out with the 2017 survey, please email us at contact@buxtoncivicassociation.org.uk

Grinlow’s Glades

Late Summer wildflowers on Top Glade Grinlow Wood

Peter Philipson BCA director took these photographs of the wildflower glades over the course of the summer. They look absolutely stunning.

The pictures show Grass of Parnassus & dwarf willow in Top glade, Grin Low Wood