News and Events

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Natural Heritage of Buxton: Geology

Professor Richard Pattrick on Fairfield Road's Carboniferous Corals

An outcrop of limestone on the east side of Farfield Road, Buxton (Fig 1) displays an excellent example of Carboniferous corals. The outcrop at [53°15'40.56"N 1°54'19.55"W] is a 3m vertical section, 25m long, set back 20m from the road.

The rock is the Eyam Limestone, of the Late Brigantian sub-stage (CX)(P2) of the Visean, Mississippinian stage of the Carboniferous. It is a dark grey limestone with distinctive chert bands (BGS Lexicon, 2019).

The coral is Siphonodendron junceum (Aretz and Nudds, 2005) – Order: Rugosa; Family: Lithostrotionidae. It is a reef build up, colonial rugose coral. This coral is displayed in transverse and cross sections of large (40cm) colonial masses (Fig. 2).

The importance of the site is that it is an excellent example of a colonial coral, easily seen over a long stretch of outcrop.
References.

M. Aretz and J. Nudds. 2005. The coral fauna of the Holkerian/Asbian boundary stratotype section (Carboniferous) at Little Asby Scar (Cumbria, England) and implications for
boundary. Stratigraphy 2(2):167-190. https://www.bgs.ac.uk/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?pub=EYL

Fig 1 Outcrop of coralliferous, Carboniferous Limestone on the east side of Fairfield Road, Buxton

FIG 2 A & B) Colonial masses of S. junceum C) Oblique section of S. junceum D) Cross section of S. junceum. All Farfield Road site.

April Members Talk

Pete Webb will be talking to us about the History of Ecton Mine on 18th April at 7.30 pm in the Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre.

Community Funding

Supporting the Serpentine Community Farm

Alyson Phillips BCA director presenting a cheque to John Boardman towards the irrigation system at the Serpentine Community Farm.

Buxton Civic Association Director Alyson Phillips presented a cheque for £600 to John Boardman, Grower at the Serpentine Community Farm, to fund the cost of the components for an automatic watering system for the greenhouse and polytunnels.
Alyson Phillips commented that “Buxton Civic Association has always actively supported Serpentine Community Farm and the restoration of this important Heritage site. When we heard about this opportunity to educate locals and visitors about a targeted irrigation system that conserves water and saves energy we were happy to help out.”
John Boardman said “summers seem to be getting hotter and the system we will build with this generous gift will save our volunteers a huge amount of work shifting water and give us a much better way of meeting the needs of our plants. The gift is much appreciated.”
The Serpentine Community Farm is off Burlington Road and is open on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s from 11-3 pm. Visitors and Volunteers are welcome.

Members talk 14th March

Stone Circles of the Peak District

The members talk will be on Thursday 14th March at 7.30pm this month at Poole’s Cavern Visitor centre.

Byron Machin is talking to us on the ‘Stone Circles of the Peak District.’

Byron is a documentary maker, writer, professional lecturer and Geography teacher from the Staffordshire Moorlands. Born in Leek, he has a passion for all aspects of the landscape history since he was a young boy.

The talk is free to members and their friends.

Heritage Heroes Evening

“The Buxton Civic Association were delighted to see the positive response to our idea of celebrating the many individuals and groups who work tirelessly to help conserve and share the outstanding human and natural heritage of our town. It was excellent that so many people came to Poole’s Cavern to hear about the often unsung work of these people and to witness them receiving our BCA Heritage Hero awards. We hope this will encourage others to join in with this important work and maybe put themselves in the running for our Heritage Heroes Awards in the future.” Peter Phillipson Acting Chair Buxton Civic Association

Photographs from the evening

The Butterflies of Grinlow

Steve Orridge, BCA member and local naturalist shares his photographs of all of the 21 species of butterflies identified in Grinlow during this years butterfly surveys.

If you would like to volunteer for next years butterfly survey, please contact us using the contact form on this website.

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