|The ecology of the Stainforth area is very much the same as any
other mining village in South Yorkshire. The types of trees found
growing wild, the birds that nest in their boughs and the plants and
animal life that flourishes beneath them are all typical of this part
Like many people around Stainforth, my first concern when learning
of Mr. Budges plans for a power generating plant at the colliery
site was for the state of the local wildlife and what the effects,
if any, there would be on the local flora and fauna.
|Past experience has taught us that by recording and observing
the ecology of an area, we can see the early effects of any
outside influence which may upset the delicate balance between
man and nature.
Those representing Mr. Budges Coalpower company were well
aware of this fact when they commissioned several reports to
be prepared covering various aspects of the local environment.
So it was with great interest that I read the reports contained
within Coalpowers Environmental Statement, which was made
available for public viewing in a room set aside for this purpose
at the colliery.
|The documents provided are very substantial, well written, and professionally
presented. They contain many facts and figures about the local environment,
from soil types to bat species. However, as is the way with professional
reports, they are a little on the heavy side and hardly make riveting
||I decided to become, in bird watching parlance, a "ticker",
and to record the wildlife I saw around Stainforth at first
hand. There can be no substitute for local knowledge, and its
the people who live in a certain area who know through personal
experience which flowers open their petals to the sun in early
spring, which butterflies flutter by in mid summer, and which
trees cast their leaves to the winds of late autumn.
By recording which species inhabit the area now, we can look at
the lists again in five or ten years time and observe any changes
that may have taken place and which may be attributed to the disruption
of the local ecology through the changes brought into force by Coalpower,
or by any other factors which may become evident in the future.
|The ecology of any particular area changes over time and it
isnt always easy to find the cause. Here, we are presented
with a unique scenario, where the physical features of this
village are to be altered so drastically that there must inevitably
be some knock-on effect on local wildlife. As far as protected
species are concerned, Coalpower will have to ensure that there
is as little disturbance as possible to the habitats and nesting
areas of creatures such the Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris),
and the Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) and
its close relative, the Lapwing or Green Plover (Vanellus
vanellus) , whose numbers have decreased alarmingly in recent
I have now been busy "ticking" and photographing for
the last year, and what at first seemed like a good idea has become
a weight which I feel I have to put down. The immensity of this
task has become overwhelming and I have other projects I wish to
pursue. For instance, just to record and list every species of insect
found within 2 kilometers of the colliery will take several years
and would require a dedicated web site and a degree in entomology
to assemble the results! I would have liked to have included more
photographs of the local fauna, particularly with respect to local
bird life, but unfortunately I lack the necessary photographic equipment.
I could, of course, have opted to use someone elses photographs
for illustration purposes, but I decided in the end to use everything
which is my own work and for which I hold the copyright.
Ill continue adding to the lists as time goes on, but for
now, albeit somewhat prematurely, please enjoy
Guide To The Flora & Fauna around Hatfield Colliery (2002-03)".