Rivelin Valley Conservation Group
In 1936 there were many Irises in the mill dam, but these have disappeared and it is now heavily shaded by Alder, Sycamore and Willow. Plants seen around this dam include Creeping Buttercup, Goose-grass, Nettle, Golden Saxifrage, Pendulous Sedge, Stitchwort and Water Mint.
Water was re-introduced to the Third Coppice mill dam by the RVCG in 2001 (with help from the Sheffield Conservation Volunteers), by re-building the collapsed overflow, topping with a new series of stepping-stones and fitting a new shuttle gate on the head goit entry.
Across the river from the weir there is a different type of woodland from that which edges much of the river. The trees are mainly oak but in the middle are some large Beeches. Beech casts a very heavy shade and has its main roots just below the surface, so that the undergrowth is sparse except for a few fungi in autumn. Here Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit may be seen, in pairs in summer or in larger mixed flocks in winter, with Goldcrest and Treecreeper. This part of the river is also a good place to watch for Dippers, particularly in spring and summer. These birds are rarely seen far from water; they perch on stones in the stream and bob up and down (‘dipping’) while feeding on small insects.
Alongside the river below the large field, look down at the river to see a low stone wall (covered in moss and Great Woodrush), which marks the end of the tail goit from Third Coppice Wheel.
A short way upstream from the field, look across the river to the waterfall on the Black Brook – this is one of the few streams that drain into the valley. Clean water from here was fed into the Third Coppice Wheel (Rivelin Paper Mill) via an aqueduct across the river. This is another good place from which to watch for birds.
More images coming soon!