News and Events

We love to hear about your experience and see your photographs through the seasons. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and share our pages. We know we've done a great job when you've had a fantastic day out!

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

A Year up Corbar

Exhibition at the Green Man Gallery 30th September to 26th October 2016

Corbar Hill, topped by its iconic cross, is one of Buxton’s most imposing landmarks. In 2015, keen photographer Terry Richardson, facing a family tragedy, made the short ascent to its 1,433ft summit virtually every day. His images capture the austere grandeur of this unique location in all weathers and seasons.

A fundraising exhibition in aid of Blythe House Hospice, Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Launch event on Friday 30th September from 7pm to 9pm. All welcome.

The Green Man Gallery
Hardwick Hall
Hardwick Square South
Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6PY

Natures Great Invaders – The Grey Squirrel

BBC Radio 4 are broadcasting a five part series on invasive foreign species.

"The grey squirrel is considered one of the worlds greatest natural invaders. It's been on UK shores for over a hundred years and it's two million strong population dwarfs that of our native red squirrel. It is maligned by many, but does the grey squirrel deserve its reputation as an unstoppable invader? Derek Mooney intends to find out."

Text from BBC Radio 4 Nature's Great Invaders

We have a link to the programme below.

Places and Spaces

Litter Picking Lovers Leap

Man handling the shower base

The name Lovers Leap conjures up romantic and perhaps tragic associations. Once a popular spot with Victorian couples, it is less visited now and it is true that the years have rolled by without anyone paying much attention to the condition of this secluded beauty spot located just outside Buxton.

Even so, members of Buxton Civic Association where stunned by the tide of rubbish they encountered when they surveyed the site earlier this year. Both the gorge itself and the slopes above the western cliff-face were strewn not only with bottles and cans but also bits of car bodywork, dumped kitchen appliances and building materials.

On 1 April, a small team of BCA members began the clean-up of the partially terraced slopes above the western cliffs. BCA Business Development Manager, Simon Fussell asked team leader, Roger Floyd, on site, what the team had found there. He replied that, clearly, for a long while, pedestrians on Dukes Drive and people in passing vehicles had been throwing bottles, cans, fast-food containers and other litter over the boundary wall onto the site. But that was far from the whole story.

“Parking here is awkward and access to the site if you are carrying large or heavy items is difficult”, he continued. “Buxton has an easy-to-reach, convenient-to-use, recycling centre where anyone can dispose of reasonable amounts of any kind of waste. And yet, inexplicably, some people seem to have actually chosen to dump items on this beauty spot rather than at the recycling centre. “For example”, he added, pointing to a curious rectangular object near our feet, “this 60 kg concrete shower base”.

Earlier in the day, two of the team had found three abandoned tents on the site. One was full of old clothes. The other two were fully equipped with cooking gear and bedding. Everything was in an advanced state of decay but clearly, at some time in the not to distant past, more than one person had been living there and for an extended period.

Our team were certain that was an ‘extended period’ because amongst the other detritus were 16 two-litre bottles all filled with a yellow fluid. Alas, hopes that it was a collection of rare vintage French wines were soon dashed when one of the bottles was opened. One of our campers had been collecting his own urine. Why? We shall never know. But he certainly didn’t amass his stockpile overnight.

In the end the bottles were left in the tent where they were found. The tents were then bundled up and left on Dukes Drive with the 25 sacks of litter, the shower base and other debris that the team had gathered from the site. To its great credit, the Borough’s Street Care and Cleaning Service sent a truck immediately to pick it all up, even though it was now late on Friday afternoon.

We expect that another three clean-ups will be necessary to clear the whole site.

Anyone for a glass of Chardonnay?

The fruits of a mornings litter picking at Lover's Leap

Winter Talk – Bialowieza Forest

The last Primeval Forest In Europe

Imagine walking along a woodland trail deep in the heart of an ancient wood. Birds sing from almost every branch, filling the air with their song. The trees tower forty metres or more above your head and around you, on the ground, the dead and the dying trunks are alive with fungi and insects.

Imagine as the trail turns a corner in this ancient woodland, you briefly glimpse a dark shape, a shadow, as some creature of the forests breaks cover ahead of you. Was it a wolf, a bison or a wild boar? Your heart rate accelerates and for a moment you are back with your ancestors as the flight or fight instinct tries to take over.

Or is it your imagination playing tricks on you, surrounded as you are by the forest, its legends and stories stretching back 10,000 years. The shape disappears and the bird song, temporarily drowned out by the rush of fear you felt, returns and you continue, more cautiously now, on your way.

This is Bialowieza, the forest that straddles the Polish, Belarus border, and is the largest remaining area of European lowland wild wood that once stretched from Siberia to Ireland.

To a packed visitor centre at Poole's Cavern, Buxton Civic Association members and friends listened enthralled as Peter Phillipson, aided by Susan Cross brought the forest to life, with a clever combination of words, pictures and sound recordings, to show the beauty, tranquility, and astounding variety of life in this world heritage site.

Key to the forest's richness of biodiversity is the deadwood and the animals that thrive there. As much as 50% of the trees are dead, either fallen or in some cases still standing. But the "decay is the future", as the forest recycles the nutrients from the dead wood, aided by a wealth of fungi and invertebrates for the next generation of trees.

Wild boar root amongst the leaf litter turning the top two inches over, to provide a habitat for plants and insects, bison create small clearings and the beavers dam the rivers and so reengineer the landscape and create new places for flora and fauna to thrive..

The deer population is kept in check by the Lynx and the Wolf packs so the young saplings are not over grazed. So the cycle continues and has done for thousands of years.

There are challenges to overcome, and tensions between the foresters and ecologists. But the central section of the forest is effectively closed off and nature left unhindered to do what it does best. Access is limited to the fortunate few and then only for a few hours.

Bialowieza is a shining example of how to do conservation. It is a reminder of the landscapes that we have lost but also an example of what can be achieved if the will and understanding is there.

News from the Conservation Volunteers

Ovo Energy 2015 tree planting programme

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are offering FREE trees through their Ovo Energy 2015 tree planting programme. In total 95,000 trees across the UK will be planted.

TCV are delighted to be supported by this fantastic initiative on behalf of Ovo Energy and we know that 2015 will be a fantastic success planting over 95,000 trees across the UK.

Community Tree Planting Packs, involves communities being provided with saplings and tree guards to maintain the trees throughout their growth process. The sapling packs and guidance information are being made available to community groups, schools, clubs, parish councils, parks for planting in publicly accessible spaces across the UK.

There is a link below with the details of the packs of trees that are available, you are able to order up to 950 trees, if you require more than this then we can review.

We are currently looking at available delivery dates for the trees from 3rd December onwards.

If you would like to go ahead and order the trees, please click on the link below and complete the booking form to place your order.

Packs of trees available

Corporate support is invaluable

Mike Monaghan and Alan Walker thank Viv Russell of Tarmac for their contribution of stone for the pathways in Grin Woods

Viv Russell, Lime and Powders Director at Tarmac, visited Poole’s Cavern visitor centre, at the invitation of Buxton Civic Association, to inspect the path restoration work that the Association had carried out in Grinlow woods, with the generous help of stone and material supplied from Tarmac.

Thanking Viv Russell, and Tarmac for their help Mike said;

"The support and help that we have had from Tarmac has enabled us to improve the paths considerably and to carry the work out much more quickly. The work to the paths is vital as it has improved the accessibility to the woods as well as protecting key areas of the woods from erosion and damage."

Enabling as many people as possible to have access to the woods is a key objective of Buxton Civic Association whilst ensuring that the flora and fauna is protected and the site retains its SSSI status.
"It is great to be able to work in partnership with Tarmac and other local companies to help ensure that our wonderful woods can be of benefit to locals and visitors alike” added Mike.
Tarmac supplied stone for much of the restored pathways in two of the Association’s woods, Corbar and Grinlow. The stone was transported to site by Lomas Distribution.

Enabling as many people as possible to have access to the woods is a key objective of Buxton Civic Association whilst ensuring that the flora and fauna is protected and the site retains its SSSI status.

"It is great to be able to work in partnership with Tarmac and other local companies to help ensure that our wonderful woods can be of benefit to locals and visitors alike” added Mike.

Tarmac supplied stone for much of the restored pathways in two of the Association’s woods, Corbar and Grinlow. The stone was transported to site by Lomas Distribution.

A stroll in Sherbrook plantation

You hear them first. The young make a plaintiff cry, calling and mewing, unmistakable and distinctive. I step out of the wood and turn back to look above it. Then they are there, the female clutching something in her talons executes a food pass, a small song bird by the looks of it. The young circle the trees before diving down to the nest and a meal. the humble sparrow hawk, the bird of prey that you are most likely to see in your garden, but I never cease to thrill at the sight of them on the wing.

Though under twenty acres the wood is full of interest. There is a badger sett dug into one of the spoil heaps. At first glance it looks deserted. But on closer inspection one of the holes looks like it has been recently dug. Perhaps a returning badger or possibly a fox.

During the summer a dry river bed gives away the geology. The stream flows off Stanley moor, in winter fed by springs but in the drier summer, disappears underground. It continues on through the wood to join the Wye at Lovers leap in Ashwood dale.

Lilly, my collie, is fascinated by all the different smells and is reluctant to move away from one patch that is obviously particularly pungent. I coax her away and she moves onto the next set of scents. The doggie equivalent of surfing the web, picking up messages from the other animals that have passed this way.

Like many of the woods that surround Buxton, the trees here were part of a plantation, planted to hide the scars from the lime burning. Over the years it has evolved a character of its own though. Less dense than Grin woods, it clings to the side of the narrow valley, dark and oppressive before giving way to open lighter glades. Everywhere there is dead wood, so vital and important to its health and well-being.

The sparrow hawks have fallen silent. Across the narrow valley I can hear the ducks from the riding school quacking. Lilly tugs at her lead to remind me that there are other things to get on with than simply standing still and watching the trees. We set off back down the path past the cottage of Content. I can let Lilly off the lead, and she races across the grass before turning round and in true collie fashion drops to the ground and waits, expectantly for the ball.