Nottinghamshire Environmental Association

by | 29 January 2024 | Environment, Heritage, Retford

Vice-Chairman Adrian Blackburn welcomed over 30 members to the first indoor meeting of Nottinghamshire Environmental Association in 2024. Three new attendees joined the Association following the talk.

‘From Pit to Park’ by Ted Gray took members on an exploration of the old colliery ‘pit tips’ in North Nottinghamshire and East Derbyshire which have now become country parks. During the talk Ted explained that ‘pit tips’ consist of the unusable spoil dug out with the coal.

To restore this spoil the tips are covered with soil and then planted with conifer trees to stabilise that soil. As the trees develop the spoil heaps are replanted with local deciduous tree varieties.

The plant and wildlife species always increase rapidly when the spoil heaps are transformed in this way with, for example, a large variety of migrating birds using the lakes at Annesley pit.

Ted also pointed out that it is not just the spoil heaps which are of interest. The Clipstone headstock wheels, which remain in place, are the tallest in Europe; fish from the ponds at Vicar Water (Mansfield Woodhouse) were used by a former Duke of Portland to stock lakes at Welbeck Abbey and there are several sculptures at Brierley Colliery. Local artist Marjorie Arnfield was well known for her poignant paintings of the demolition of the pits.

Talks and visits are open to members and non-members. Membership costs £10.00 annually plus £2.00 per indoor talk. For non-members the talk fee is £3.50. Outdoor visits take place in the summer months.

Indoor meetings start at 7.30pm at Hallcroft Community Centre, Randall Way, Retford. Doors open at 7.10pm and there is plenty of parking. Refreshments are served after each talk, when members get the chance to chat.

The next talk, on 1st February, is a little different and entitled ‘How to Survive and Thrive in an Impossible World’, then on 7th March is ‘Footpads, Kings and Highwaymen’.

For further information contact Adrian Blackburn at or call / text 07718 766873 or Paul Willcock at or call / text 07581 531595. New members are always very welcome to join.