Despite difficult circumstances caused by the lockdown, individuals kept the community plot at Churchfield Allotments going and later in the summer were able to resume working in small groups. This culminated in supplying the Denby Dale/Skelmanthorpe Community Centre with produce for use in cooked meals being delivered out into the community, confirming the value in terms of local wellbeing, for all concerned.
10 Village volunteers also monitored the newts in ponds alongside the Kirklees Light Railway, despite continued encroachment of house building, and kept on top of invasive non-native species (INNS) on the River Dearne and its tributaries. These are being monitored for pollution levels and a bid to Yorkshire Water’s Biodiversity Fund by Friends of the Dearne, in partnership with the parish council and Riverlution, was successful for further improvements to this important stretch of water that runs through our parish.
Councillors with the help of volunteers are also involved in the maintenance of several wildflower sites that flourished around the parish this summer.
Having flowered and set seed, the wildflower meadow at East Hill was scythed and at the same site a litter pick was undertaken, as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s Great September Clean. Scissett Volunteer Litter Pickers, who are out most Tuesday’s, spread their wings and helped out Clayton West Millennium Green with a clean-up of their site as well. Volunteers at Cliffe Woods have also been hard at work keeping their site attractive to local people and wildlife, although they have had some vandalism recently.
Walkers Are Welcome have been active clearing paths, fixing stiles and developing new walks as people flock to the wonderful countryside in our parish in these unprecedented times. Also unprecedented is the number of ‘dog gloves’ and dispensers being provided by the parish council.
The parish are also setting up a Climate Change Emergency Working Group and the Countryside Project are keen to be involved in its various projects, including support for environmental projects in schools and elsewhere in the community. The Parish Council continues to directly support such projects, complimented by funding available from Denby Dale Parish Environment Trust (http://ddpet.co.uk/), which continues to meet via Zoom.