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Welcome to the Moss Valley Wildlife Group website where you can find information about the Moss Valley, our group, news and events, volunteering, membership and more.
The Moss Valley is located on the border between North East Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, just to the south east of Sheffield. It lies mostly within green belt land, its central feature being the Moss Brook which flows east for about five miles before entering the River Rother near Eckington. The map reference SK402804 is at the hamlet of Ford, which is approximately the centre of the valley, just six miles from the centre of Sheffield.
This is a working agricultural valley with both livestock and arable farming. It is rich in wildlife habitat, some of which has been designated as nature reserves. The Moss Valley Woodlands nature reserve is managed by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust. There are three Sites of Special Scientific Interest and other sites are entered on the Derbyshire Wildlife Sites Register.
The valley has ancient woodlands, meadows, hedgerows, ponds and marshland, together with many tributory streams flowing into the Moss. Access on foot is easy as there is a network of public footpaths criss-crossing the area. The flora and fauna include the common and not so common, but you will see bluebells, lesser celandines, wood avens, betony, various fungi, and many species of trees. Mammals include fox, pipistrelle bat, stoat, bank vole, roe deer and brown hare. There are many bird species and a wide variety of insects. There is something of interest in all seasons of the year.
Alongside the old farms the valley contains some interesting industrial archaeology. The Moss Brook and its ponds once powered eight water wheels when it was an important centre for the grinding of scythes and sickles. One of the dams (Never Fear) is pictured below and is just a short walk downstream from the Bridge Inn at Ford. There is also evidence of charcoal burning and old drift mines which extracted coal from the underlying rocks, which form part of the coal measures. Seldom Seen Engine House, near Eckington, is a surviving relic of the industrial past. It is pictured on the right below.
The group was formed in 1982 to resist the threat of urban development in the valley, when the City of Sheffield was expanding. Our main purpose now is to bring together people who have an interest in conserving the flora, fauna and habitats found in the valley.
We have a strong association with local statutory and non-statutory bodies such as the local authority Countryside and Planning Services at Sheffield City Council, Derbyshire County Council and North East Derbyshire District Council; Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, RSPB Sheffield, Sorby Natural History Society, Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Partnership, and Sheffield Hallam University. We also have links with other local groups.
Members can make new friends in a family friendly group, learn more about their local area, take part in healthy activities, and have the satisfaction of doing something for future generations.
We have a varied programme of activities:
- Wildlife walks
- Plant and mammal surveys
- Fungus walks
- Hands-on conservation work
- Recording of species
- Slide shows
- Promoting the Group at local events
- Social evenings
We also print a short-form newsletter at intervals to keep members without access to the website up to date, and for use at events where MVWG is represented.
Reporting crime and nuisance in Moss Valley
We encourage you to report incidents to the appropriate authorities. The contact numbers for these are provided at the bottom of the links page on this website.
The group has received awards in recent years for its conservation efforts:
- 2011 Certificate from Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service for partnership working in conservation
- 2009 Highly Commended, Himalayan Balsam Pull Project, Sheffield First Environment Community Award
- 2008 Excellence in the Community, Derbyshire County Council
- 2007 Roll of Honour, Sheffield City Council S.E. Area Panel
Further pictures of the Moss Valley, like the ones below, can be seen by clicking on the “gallery” tab at the top of this page.