Dec 07 2018

Smithills Update Dec 7th 2018

Hello all

Just one more event left for this year – the Wassailing Adventure on Sunday. What a busy year it has been! 41 events so far with 1399 attending across the year. We have 140 booked for Sunday, so (depending on how many brave the rain) we might make it over the 1500 mark!

 Volunteer hours to date are 4275… an amazing total! THANK YOU!!


We’ve been in the news!

You might have seen various members of the Smithills team on the news this week. Chris was on North West Tonight, Russ was on Granada Reports, and Mark was interviewed live to the whole nation on BBC Breakfast. All of these interviews related to the tree planting we are doing to replace the trees lost to the drought over the summer:  Some of you came along to the tree planting days with corporate groups during November, with the Co-op and Galliford Try (if you look at the photo below you will spot Keith and Rob), and others have been ‘beating up’ (i.e. marking which trees have died so that we can replace them). We will be replacing 5,500 this winter, and planting 17,000 trees in spring! You will all be able to get involved in that via task days, and during our tree planting weeks in March.


Tree planting with the Co-op Bank


Radio 4 also visited us this week, as part of a programme looking at the effects of the wild fires here and at Saddleworth this summer. Clive and Sheila were interviewed as part of the programme – look out for that on the 20 December edition of Open Country.

 Rob Ball featured in the Woodland Trust blog this week, talking about what our wildlife monitoring group are doing and explaining the value of this for the Estate… you can read that and watch the video clips here: Rob is a natural presenter J


Wildlife group

 New species alert!! A new species of mushroom was found for the first time on Smithills Estate during the recent tree planting… the buttercap (Rhodocollybia butyracea), so named for the greasy texture of its cap (lovely!) We are now on 1020 recorded species for Smithills, with our wildlife monitors regularly noting species across the Estate.


Welcome to Smithills to the greasy-topped Buttercap mushroom…


The next meeting of the Wildlife Group is Thursday 13 December, 7pm.

History Group

Tony has found lots of interesting old photos of the site and surrounding area over the last few weeks, including this Flickr album showing images of Wildersmoor mines near Smithills, and which gives an idea of what the moors looked like during the time they were buzzing with mining activity. 

Tony also came across this drawing of James Whittle, the man accused and acquitted of the infamous ‘murder on the moors’, near what is now the Mast Road, in 1838… did he do it? We will never know…



Did he kill the Scotsman?


Brilliant photographers


A number of our volunteers came to our photography workshop and took some brilliant photos… we’ll be doing another workshop in spring, on a different area of the Estate. In addition, we’ve had some great shots of wildlife on the Estate from volunteers too.  


Image credits left to right: Tony Greenwood, Tim Cosford, Dave Wilkinson, Jim Ormerod.



Follow us!

We’re telling people what’s happening at Smithills with the help of our Facebook page… if you’re on Facebook, click ‘Like’ and you’ll see our updates in your feed

Vicky Entwistle – Engaging Communities Officer


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