Rivelin Valley Conservation Group and Ruskin In Sheffield LogoSecond Coppice Wheel

Rivelin Valley Conservation Group

Nature and wildlife at seccop Wheel

The RVCG undertook a lot of work on the Second Coppice mill dam in 2002. Then completely dry and overgrown, water was re-introduced by fitting a new sluice gate on the overflow to raise its level. A machine was used to dig a ditch along the edge of the dam to provide a channel for the water. Work still needs to be done to provide an outflow at the downstream end of the dam so that water can move through. Raising the water level killed many of the trees, but the dam is still quite shaded by Alder and Sycamore and a large Beech tree on the northern side. Plants growing in the water include Marsh Marigold and Water Mint. Dog’s Mercury and Celandine are abundant on the dam wall.

Birds recorded in this area include Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Great spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Treecreeper.

By the stepping stones at the point where the Second Coppice tail goit meets the river, there is a steep cliff with water running down it – the water is sometimes rusty-coloured from the iron in the rocks. The cliff (known as ‘Cryptogam Cliff’) is made up of softer shales between beds of harder sandstone – water can pass through the porous sandstone but not the shale, so water is forced to run down the cliff-face. This makes ideal wet conditions for ferns (such as the Lady Fern and Hard Fern), mosses and liverworts, as well as Great Woodrush. The small flowering plant on the cliff with tiny yellow flowers from March to May is Golden Saxifrage.

Image of Marsh Marigolds in Second Coppice mill dam.

Marsh Marigolds in Second Coppice mill dam. Photo: Sue Shaw, May 2016.

Image of Stitchwort on the bank at Second Coppice Wheel.

Stitchwort on the bank at Second Coppice Wheel. Photo: Sue Shaw, May 2016.

Image of Celandines near Second Coppice Wheel.

Celandines near Second Coppice Wheel. Photo: Sue Shaw, April 2015.

Image of Dog’s Mercury near Second Coppice Wheel.

Dog’s Mercury near Second Coppice Wheel. Photo: Sue Shaw, April 2015.

Image of the steep, wet cliff on the north side of the river between Second Coppice Wheel and Third Coppice weir.

The steep, wet cliff on the north side of the river between Second Coppice Wheel and Third Coppice weir is covered with ferns, mosses and liverworts. Photo: Sue Shaw, May 2016.

Image of Liverworts

Liverworts growing on the steep, wet cliff on the north side of the river between Second Coppice Wheel and Third Coppice weir. Photo: Sue Shaw, May 2016.

Image of a young dipper

Young dipper on a stone in the river near Second Coppice Wheel. Photo: Sue Shaw, May 2016.

Image of a heron

Heron fishing in the river near Second Coppice Wheel. Photo: Sue Shaw, May 2016.


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