Rivelin Valley Conservation Group
The landscape here was changed by the diversion of the river through the original mill dam in the early 20th century and creation of the Rivelin Valley Park in the 1950s. On the north side of the river, the broad band of wetland vegetation between the path and river marks the former extent of the mill dam. In spring, look out for the white flower spikes of Bittercress here.
On the north bank of the river there are several old Ash and Oak trees near the path. Near the weir below the café, are a Weeping Willow, two Rowan trees and tall pines, and in summer at the river’s edge, the yellow flowers of the Monkey-flower.
Look out for large clumps of Pendulous sedge, especially under the trees on the bank between the river and Rivelin Valley Water Play area. The tall, nodding, catkin-like flower spikes appear from about May to July.
Mallard ducks can usually be seen along the stretch of river between the two weirs, and Grey wagtails sometimes feed in the shallows. A Grey heron is occasionally seen sitting on top of the long weir. The open grassy areas attract ground feeders such as Blackbird, and the margins of the surrounding undergrowth provide good habitat for butterflies. Also look and listen out for Thrush, Robin, Wren and various types of tit.
A water vole was recently (2015) seen on the river bank. This is the first record in the valley for many years – please contact RVCG with any further sightings.
Just below Hollins Bridge, there is a multi-trunked Bird Cherry tree – this has white flowers in spring and dark purple/black cherry-like fruits in autumn.