Rivelin Valley Conservation Group
The Frank Wheel mill dam is heavily shaded by Alder, Beech, Hazel and Oak. As the overflow is close to the head goit entry, the water is mostly stagnant, giving a feeling of lifelessness. Some children call it the ‘dinosaur pond’ due to the fallen tree that sits halfway across the dam, with its branches in the water. This gives the dam an eerie atmosphere especially on a cold frosty morning with the mist still hovering over the water. Dog’s Mercury and Ground Elder are abundant on the site of the former buildings. Image: Frank the dinosaur tree Sit a while and watch for birds – if you sit still enough and long enough you may well see a Kingfisher, apparently attracted by the good supply of small fish (e.g. sticklebacks) and invertebrates in the water. The Frank weir is a favourite spot for the Grey Heron to sit watching for prey.
On the north bank of the river, near the weir, there is an interesting patch of woodland where some large Beeches are mixed with Oak and Sycamore, as well as a few tall pine trees. Look out for Bluebells and the attractive grass Wood Melick.
The large grassy area just upstream of the Frank Wheel weir has two large oak trees in the middle, and is a good place to look for butterflies on a sunny day and bats on a summer evening. Blackbirds and Song Thrushes may be seen feeding. Robins are often heard singing, particularly in autumn and winter when other birds are quiet. Look out for molehills here too. This area is managed as part of a covenant agreement set up in around 1915 when Sheffield City Council acquired the land from the Norfolk Estate and King Edward VII hospital was built (on the north side of Rivelin Valley Road).