Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust

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Victoria Hall,37 Stafford Road
Sheffield,South Yorkshire
S2 2SF

0114 2634335

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Blacka Moor woodland restoration

Blacka Moor is a haven for wildlife, and the woodland which covers almost half the site is home to a number of bird species which appear on the BTO ‘Birds of Conservation

Concern Red List’ of threatened species, including wood warbler, spotted flycatcher, pied flycatcher and lesser redpoll. These species are globally threatened and have suffered serious decline in both numbers and range in the UK in the last 25 years, so we are lucky to still have them here on Blacka.

The commonest cause for the decline of wildlife is loss of the specific habitat it needs to survive, and quite small changes in habitat can render a landscape unfavourable to wildlife.

Conversely, if caught in time there is improvement and restoration which can be done to wildlife habitat which will halt and reverse this decline. The Blacka woodland has reached a time when we need to make some practical improvements to the habitat to help the wildlife to thrive.

The main part of the restoration work we have planned involves careful selective thinning in parts of the woodland, scalloping path edges and creating glades to allow more light reach the ground. Since the woodland has not been in active management for many years, the dense canopy which has developed has reduced the suitability of the woodland for many of the threatened bird species which breed here. (NB Certain species such as wood warbler need a closed canopy, and so no work will be done in the areas that they favour). Species such as flycatchers and redstart require open woodland structure with glades rich in insect life, which are also important as pollinators of woodland flora.

Invasive plant species such as rhododendron, widely planted in the 19th Century, also cause problems. Rhododendrons cast a dense shade which effectively stifles any plant growth beneath them, plants which support the insects and invertebrates which species such as flycatchers live on.

We also plan to install a number of shallow woodland ponds, specifically to boost the number of insects within Blacka Woods.

The total project budget came out as follows:

Item Cost

Next boxes (durable woodcrete boxes) £842

Woodland thinning & scalloping woodland edges

(30 days) £12,960

Removal of invasive species (rhododendron & sycamore)

(10 days) £7,200

Creation of woodland ponds £336

Design & produce replacement interpretation panels (3 no.) £427

Design & produce leaflet (1000) £317

Asbestos removal (fly tipping) £1,160

TOTAL £23,242

The Landfill Communities Fund funder Viridor Credits has offered us a grant of £20,000 to carry out this project, and with a few economies that should be sufficient to get the job done.

But this is where I need your help.

Under the terms of the Landfill Fund scheme, in order to access the funds from Viridor we have to pay a 10% Third Party Contribution (TPC) to Viridor Waste Management and we aren’t allowed to find it from the Trust’s own funds. We also have to be able to prove that we have raised the money specifically for this purpose. Our Fundraising Team had hoped to raise these funds from charitable trusts, but unfortunately we have had no luck at all in that respect.

Blacka Moor birdlife: pied flycatcher, wood warbler and redstart.

In order to save the whole project to protect and promote Blacka Moor woodland’s population of threatened birds we need to find £2000 pretty quickly; the Viridor funding offer will expire within a few weeks.

Are you able to help? I would be really grateful if you could make a contribution towards the

TPC to ensure we do not lose this project.

Please send a cheque payable to Viridor Waste Management to me at Sheffield and

Rotherham Wildlife Trust, 37 Stafford Road, Sheffield S2 2SF, or donate online through

Virgin Money Giving on


Be sure to mark your donation ‘Blacka Moor woodland restoration’ so we can demonstrate to the funder that it is your intention to support this project.

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