BRACKEN MOOR PLAYING FIELDS (OZ/ES02)

Click here to see preliminary management plan for the site

Click here to see species lists for this site

General Information

General Information

Grid Reference

SK27309780

Ownership

SCC Education Department

Size

4.45 hectares (perimeter 981 metres)

Designation(s)

Open Space Area

Access

Full public access. Public right of way No 27 on western boundary.

Classification

C1

Importance

Has limited existing ecological interest. Important as a large recreational open space, providing mostly football pitches that are frequently in use. The northern part of the site which is an open grass area shows potential for nature conservation enhancement or community garden project.

Date Surveyed

29-02-00

 

 

Survey information

Introduction

A large area of open space providing recreation fields freely accessible.

History

The name Bracken Moor probably indicates a time when the area was moorland dominated by bracken. The bracken may have been collected for use in stables, etc. In 1854 a brick works, with associated mines for clay and coal, was established on the site by Thomas Brooke. The 1905 OS Map shows these works as 'Bracken Moor Brick Works'. The brick works supplied material for local use and continued in operation until the end of 1928 (Branston, J, 1982). In 1975 a scheme to re-landscape the land as a recreation ground for Stocksbridge High School was initiated. During the re-landscaping extensive mine workings such as tunnels lined with sandstone slabs and boulders were found.

Topography

The re-landscaping involved a series of stepped fields, three in total with a progressive lowering in height for each platform in a northerly direction. The two slopes that drop down to the next level form a separate more rough acidic grassland community from the amenity grass of the playing fields. The central platform with two full size football fields is the largest. On the eastern side there is a hard surface car park and the south west boundary is formed of a dry stone wall and hedge with fence. At the southern end of the site is located Stocksbridge Youth Centre.

Recreation and Use

Mainly football by schools and at weekends by local teams (youth, adult, etc.). Dog walkers were seen traversing the fields during survey work.

Present Management

Playing fields regularly mown (slopes probably experience infrequent mowing). Hedgerows trimmed.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

 

Main Plant Communities

Community

General Description

Characteristic Species

Community A

Amenity grassland

Lolium perenne, Poa annua, Ranunculus repens, Bellis perennis

Community B

Rough (acidic-type) grassland

Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, Cynosurus cristatus

Community C

Short acidic grassland

Polytrichum juniperum

Community D

Tall herb

Rumex obtusifolia, Anthriscus sylvestris, Rumex acetosa, Senecio sp.

Community E

Hedgerows

Crateagus monogyna

Community F

Areas of planted trees and shrubs

Sarothamnus scoparius, Larix sp., Acer x (or rubrum)

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

Ecological Interest

The site is heavily geared to recreation so there is currently a limited range of plants, trees and animals. The site is a relatively recent creation and some improvements have been made to lessen the windswept and bare appearance of the site. Some limited tree planting has been carried out, mainly at the southern end of the site.

The soil characteristics are mainly acidic judging by the type of communities and species present. The two north-facing slopes dividing up three fields (that drop in elevation in a northerly direction) and areas around the football fields contain a rough grass community. On the crest of the northernmost slope there is an area of short grass containing a range of mosses and flowering plants all indicative of acidic conditions such as Polytrichum. The amenity grass areas of the pitches have the least interest, but if mowing is the only management on these areas they could be expected over time to eventually provide niches for further species.

The northernmost field provides the most botanical interest, as this is smaller and contains no football pitch and is, therefore, subject to less mowing. Species were easier to identify here on this basis. Tall herb and rough grass areas furnished the largest flora species lists with slender speedwell (Veronica filiformis) - an introduction of the nineteenth century from Turkey and Caucasus - being locally abundant in a couple of locations - one adjoining a back garden. The presence of moles was recorded at the northeast end of the middle field.

11.

12.

Botanical Survey - click here for details


 

Stocksbridge SRB5 Greenspace Audit undertaken by Jim Flanagan for Sheffield Wildlife Trust - see their Community Action Handbook - full of good ideas for your local site


Back to map of ecological survey sites

Inner Zone

Knoll Top

Outer Zone

Oxley Park

Bracken Moor - playing fields

East Whitwell - open space

Wood Royd

Countryside Zone

Ellen Cliff Wood

Townend Common

Industrial Zone

Dog Lichen Field

Hen Holmes Wood

Little Don - acid heath

Little Don - open space

Exchange Sidings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I
Back to map of ecological survey sites

nner Zone

Knoll Top

Outer Zone

Oxley Park

Bracken Moor - playing fields

East Whitwell - open space

Wood Royd

Countryside Zone

Ellen Cliff Wood

Townend Common

Industrial Zone

Dog Lichen Field

Hen Holmes Wood

Little Don - acid heath

Little Don - open space

Exchange Sidings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I
Back to map of ecological survey sites

nner Zone

Knoll Top

Outer Zone

Oxley Park

Bracken Moor - playing fields

East Whitwell - open space

Wood Royd

Countryside Zone

Ellen Cliff Wood

Townend Common

Industrial Zone

Dog Lichen Field

Hen Holmes Wood

Little Don - acid heath

Little Don - open space

Exchange Sidings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to top of page

Text and Photographs (unless stated otherwise) © Steel Valley Partnership Stocksbridge, all rights reserved. Terms of use: Any involved in education or training may copy the contents of these web pages, with the proviso that they always make reference to the original copyright.

Click here to add your comments and ideas and to volunteer to help

Web pages by Map21 Ltd - latest update 30 May 2004

Related sites