News and Events

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Newsletter Summer 2018

Read our NEW LOOK Summer 2018 Newsletter online

We are launching our new look Newsletter online, though of course members will still receive a printed version in the post over the next few days.

BCA member Bob Bohme has been working with Newsletter Editor Alyson Phillips to create an exciting newsletter to help explain and promote BCA and its values.

Alyson commentated "It is really exciting to have Bob's creativity and skill to help create a brand new look to the newsletter. We hope you enjoy it and we are already working on the next edition. We welcome contributions and suggestions and please let us know what you think about the new look."

Events Post

The BCA Annual events listing covers a range of activities including family friendly events, socials, talks, presentations, performances, music and art installations. Join to gain full membership access to all BCA events

Please note that all events start at 7.30pm and are held at Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre, unless stated otherwise.


Autumn 2018 Newsletter

Our latest Newsletter is now available on line. This edition focuses on trees, you can learn about the trees of Grinlow and much more. There is also an interview with our retired Chair Mike Monaghan.

September Members Talk

A Vision for the Uplands with Dr Tim Birch Director and head of Living Landscapes at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

‘A Picture is worth a thousand words’ so says the well know English idiom. And this was amply illustrated by Dr Tim Birch, a Director and Head of Living Landscapes at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, at his recent talk titled ‘A Vision for the Uplands’ where he spoke to 60 members of Buxton Civic Association at their September Members meeting.

Tim put a picture on the screen of a chunk of Welsh hillside. The hillside was divided by a fence that ran from the road up to the rocky cliff top. To the left was the usual sheep grazed scene, shorn of all but the shortest grasses, bare, and barren.

But on the right hand side, protected as it had been from the sheep, the picture was staggeringly different. The hillside was a riot of small trees, birch, rowan and juniper and blackthorn bushes.

Who built the fence? Tim had yet to find out, but the message was clear. Give nature a chance and she will restore and recover damaged landscapes. And once the landscape is restored wildlife will find it and move in.

Knepp Estate a 3,500 acre ex arable farm in Sussex is proof of this. Tim had led a team from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in the early summer to see the pioneering and inspiring work that Charlie Burrell and his wife Isabella Tree have done in wilding their farm.

Just two examples illustrate their success, Nightingales have declined by 90% since the 1970’s across Southern England but have found Knepp and are making it a stronghold, the Emperor butterfly is flourishing there and the early morning air is full of bird song. Tim and his team were astonished and moved by the dawn chorus.

The vision for the uplands is to achieve something similar on a landscape scale for the Peak District.

To enable the landscape to recover and heal itself, to encourage once common species such as Pine Marten and red squirrels to return and thrive. And to provide a wonderful place for us, our children and grandchildren to learn about and appreciate the natural world all around us.

But to do this, to achieve this vision, will require a landscape scale solution.

Tim talked about the isolation of the Derbyshire Wildlife reserves, surrounded as they often are by grouse moors and shooting estates with their traps and snares. The reserves become little refuges for nature but on too small and too fragmented a scale.

A good example of this is the Lady Bower Woods Reserve. The picture below illustrates the point. To the left of the stone wall is the Moscar Grouse Moor, to the right the DWT reserve.

But create a landscape wide approach and then these reserves become isolated no more, but become vital hot spots of wildlife that can then spread out into the wider landscape.

Of course it will all take time. There are a multitude of landowners and stakeholders to consult with and bring on board. But things are changing. Almost daily there is news of new initiatives and schemes, the recent ‘Summit to Shore’ rewilding project in Wales and the plans to restore the Caledonian Forest in Scotland to name but two.

And with the drive and vision of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and all the other wildlife groups including the work that Buxton Civic Association is doing to create woodland habitats that encourage greater biodiversity, then a grand plan for the Peak District will not be far behind.

One day soon perhaps there will no need for a fence and we can learn how to let nature survive and thrive alongside us.

A Peak District teeming with wildlife, with wildflowers and trees and scrub, where bird song and the hum of insects is taken for granted again, and who knows what might be lurking in the undergrowth or surprise you round the next corner in the forest.

That is some vision, and some picture. It is something worth working for.

Links to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Website and others below

Ten Thousand Years in a Day – A Guided Walk with South West Peak Partnership

Monday 15th October 2018 Guided Walk down the Dove Valley with Dr Catherine Parker Heath Cultural Heritage Officer for South West Peak Partnership.

South West Peak Partnership have asked us to post details of the following walking event. Please note that this is not organised by Buxton Civic Association and any queries about the walk should be directed to the South West Peak Partnership. Contact Details can be found at the bottom of this post.

DETAILS OF THE WALK

Event Name 10,000 Years in a Day!
Start Date 15th Oct 2018 10:00am
End Date 15th Oct 2018 4:00pm
Duration 6 hours
Description 10,000 Years in a Day!

Monday 15th October 2018

Guided Walk down the Dove Valley with Dr Catherine Parker Heath our very own Cultural Heritage Officer.

This walk is for all those interested in the South West Peak, its history and archaeology, whether you are a current or potential volunteer, or not!

About the walk:

Meet at Hartington Market Place NGR: SK128603 at 10:00am to take a minibus to the start of the walk at Buxton Raceway.
Finish back at Hartington at 4:00pm (approx.)

Distance: about 8 miles, Terrain: fields, tracks, sections of road, rough ground.
Bring a packed lunch, stout footwear and suitable clothing for the weather.
We will stop for breaks and lunch en-route. Refreshments available to buy from various tea shops and other establishments in Hartington before setting off and at the end.

Toilets at Hartington Station and various tea shops and other establishments in Hartington before and after walk, but, unfortunately, not en-route.

Along the Upper Dove Valley, evidence exists of human activity that dates from the Palaeolithic to the present day. At the very edge of the South West Peak, the Dove Valley is not only a boundary between the counties of Derbyshire and Staffordshire but also between different geologies and geographies, which have informed how people have lived here in the past. Join us to find out more!

CONTACT DETAILS AND HOW TO BOOK

Booking essential as places are limited: Email SWP Cultural Heritage Officer, Dr Catherine Parker Heath catherine.parkerheath@peakdistrict.gov.uk or call on 01629 816279.

Keeping our Little Corner Cleaner

A mornings litter picking with Karen Beresford of Buxton Town Team litter picking group

Plastic bottles, crisp packets, bits of carpet, bathing towels, the plastic wrapping from a pair of swimming trunks, paper and of course drink cans, these were just some of the items of rubbish that we found on a recent litter pick at a local beauty spot.

I had joined Karen Beresford who runs the Buxton Town Team litter picking group, to spend a couple of hours tackling the never ending problem of litter that blights our towns and our countryside.

Though there is something satisfying in picking up litter, it is frustrating to think that people drop their trash and rubbish there in the first place. It is after all a beautiful, peaceful spot. In summer full of wildflowers and bird song.

But it does not seem to matter where you go, you will find discarded rubbish. Even providing bins does not always solve the problem. Whether it’s leaving the waste from a picnic or BBQ, or throwing bottles and plastic from a vehicle, it seems as if some people just don’t care.

Out of sight out of mind, and anyway someone else will pick it up.

We cleared two big sacks of rubbish from the site. So now at least for a little while it is free of discarded plastic and wrappers. And walking there will be a pleasanter experience.

We decide that as there was still time we would tackle a small section of the Tongue lane industrial estate. This was littering on a different scale.

As well as the usual items, there were bits of engine, oil containers, nappies wrapped in plastic bags and half full bottles of liquid. Plastic sheeting lay discarded on a patch of ‘waste ground’, and shreds of plastic bag caught by the wind lay twisted round the stunted bushes.

We could only scratch the surface. There is still much more to be done as you can see from the photos above.

I could not help wondering if this little patch of waste ground could be put to much better use. Planted with fruit trees, perhaps part of Transition Buxton’s urban orchard scheme, and wildflowers to attract bees, butterflies and other insects, and a bench, it could become a little haven of tranquillity,somewhere to sit and have a sandwich, or just to relax from all the hurly burly around you.

One for the Urbitat project perhaps?

Karen is always glad to hear from new
enthusiastic litter pickers and you can contact
her by email stoop.farm@icloud.com

Places and Spaces

Update on our Neglected and Vulnerable Places Report - by Dia and Jon White

Click on the link below for the latest report. Excellent progress has been made on resolving some of the issues. Great work from Jon and Dia to keep battling away and a big thank you to HPBC, DCC, ENW and the Palace Hotel.

There is still more to do but considerable progress has been made.

Neglected and Vulnerable Places and Spaces report dated 19th September 2018

Fun and Adventures in Corbar Woods

On Saturday 15th September from 1 - 4 pm

What will we find?
What will we see?
Who lives in the wonderwoods?

Join us for an afternoon of making, laughing and inventing adventures in Corbar Woods, one of Buxton’s oldest woods. There, under the spreading branches of the beech trees, we’ll tell terrible tales of the strange and wonderful world of Corbar. By ancient yews we’ll make the mysterious animals and beautiful peoples who might yet be hidden in the woods. As old and well-crunkled oaks watch us, we’ll make shining, glittering wood-eyes so the wood can watch us all the way home….

Join us for an afternoon of making, laughter and mess!

Drop in between 1 and 4 on Saturday 15th. This is one of a number of activities in Buxton that afternoon so look out for excitements at Lightwood, in Pavilion Gardens and in Grin low Woods at Buxton Country Park as well…
The activity is free, no booking needed
Materials provided
Enter the woods by the Corbar Rd entrance and we will be based somewhere round there

Buxton Civic Association Supporting Heritage Open Days

Two heritage events to enable you to explore and learn about Buxton's Industrial past and present.

Buxton Civic Association is organising a number of events this coming weekend in support of Heritage Open Day. The annual festival celebrates our diverse natural and built heritage, history and culture and allows people to visit some of the less well known places. The two events that we have organised for the weekend give a fascinating overview and insight into Buxton's industrial heritage and history.

On Friday 14th September BCA are organising a guided walk to explore the Buxton coal mining industry. Visitors will be taken on a guided walk lasting 2 hours of the Buxton Coalfields. The coalfields made a significant contribution to the lime burning industry. One can see and appreciate the extensive layout of the works and there are traces of the working visible.
Visitors will meet at Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre at 1.00pm for a short briefing. The walk should finish by 3.30 pm.
Booking is essential. To book a place on the walk please phone 01298 26978 and ask for Simon Fussell.

On Sunday 16th September BCA director and local historian Alan Roberts will be giving a talk on the “Limestone Quarries of Buxton.” This talk will cover an important part of the local industrial heritage. It will follow the growth of the industry from its early origins to its role as an industry of national and international importance, from its pick and shovel days to its modern highly mechanised situation. Social and environmental aspects will also be discussed.
The talk will be at the Buxton Campus of the University of Derby, The Dome, from 2.30 to 3.30 pm on Sunday 16th September. Devonshire Road, Buxton, SK17 9DH.

Both events are free. If you are planning to go on the walk you should be prepared for wet weather and ensure that you have walking boots and take something to eat.

Butterflies thriving in Grinlow

Steve Orridge reports on a better year for Butterflies in Grin low

Every year a band of dedicated butterfly enthusiasts look forward to the start of the survey season. This runs from the beginning of April until the end of September and lasts for 26 weeks.

The year is divided up between the volunteers and it usually means that we each have one survey to do a month. We started surveying in 2015 and each year has been better than the last.

See Graph below

We are now up to week 19 and our count is already 100 more than last years total. We have seen 18 species of butterfly within Grinlow and here is a selection from the 11 species we saw in week 19’s survey.

Last year was a fantastic year for Red Admirals with huge numbers seen right up to the end of September Will we get the same this year? It is hard to tell but the dry hot summer and lack of rain has reduced the crop of Devil’s Bit Scabious which provided such a wonderful supply of nectar for last year’s generation. No matter how the year ends, it is going to be remembered for the exceptional numbers of butterflies.

Although it is not a rare species this brimstone butterfly is our first record for Grinlow.

It has been a very good year for Common Blue butterfly with 68 being counted on one survey in June.

The introduction of the Woodland Ride in 2015 has provided increased habitats for Butterflies as well as increasing the bio diversity of the wood generally.

We will publish a full report at the end of the year which will be available to download from our website.

If anyone would like to get involved in future surveys please let us know by emailing us at communications@buxtoncivicassociation.org.uk