News Archive

December 4 2016


Some fruits of our labour.

The last Sunday meet of the year saw a good turn-out and much activity in the woods. Leaves were cleared from paths and the silverlink bridge, and in the old hockey field undergrowth was strimmed and placed into large piles to rot down for the winter. These have the added bonus of providing habitat for invertebrates and small mammals.




December 2 2016

Latest information from Durham County Council:

Following thorough analysis of the second landslip, a design to stabilise the ground has been completed. Additional soil nailing works were also required to stabilise the steepest parts of the bankside. A mesh will be installed at the surface and vegetation allowed to grow through. Work continues to stabilise the slope using stone and ‘geoweb’ retaining walls, which we have used to keep as much of the existing material in place as possible.

Some trees have had to be removed in consultation with our tree officer where access to carry out the works was not possible. As many of the existing trees have been retained as possible.

Soil nailing works will take around 5 weeks to complete, however there will be further work to stabilise the ground which will take until early 2017 to complete.

We are hoping to reopen the footpath in February 2017.

For regular update and more information on the scheme please

December 1 2016


Northumbrian Water have begun work on extending and improving the culvert / sewer at the bottom of Pelaw beck. See this link for more details.


November 6 2016


Friends of Pelaw Wood again drew on excellent support from the Durham University Conservation Volunteers in clearing brambles from the old hockey field. Despite the cold and damp morning, great success was enjoyed in the fight against the invasive brambles.




After this busy day we were invited to a bonfire party at Old Durham where all enjoyed hot dogs, baked potatoes and grilled marshmallows, washed down with mulled wine. Thanks are due to our Chairman Tony Ewin for once again organising this excellent yearly event.


October 2 2016


A fine early autumn morning found a group of 10 Friends clearing paths and steps in anticipation of the re-opening of the paths blocked by the landslip since 2013.

Drinks and pizza were enjoyed at the Woodman Inn, Gilesgate after our labours.



September 4 2016

DSC03113A small but determined band of Friends met for our September work party in the woods. After a hard but enjoyable couple of hours we had removed many large items of litter including a mattress, corrugated iron, a car tyre, a traffic cone, a shopping trolley and an old window frame.




As usual, we retired later to the Queen’s Head for much-needed liquid refreshment.


Thanks to Durham County Council who have collected the rubbish.



August 14 2016 – Bat Walk

A warm Sunday evening found 10 members of Friends of Pelaw Wood and the Durham Bat Group exploring the wood for evidence of bat activity.


Licensed bat-handler checking a bat box.

Our bat boxes were somewhat disappointing as there were no householders in residence.

The walk, however, was to grow more exciting as a roost of Noctule bats was discovered deep in the woods  from their social calls to each other (these calls are of relatively low frequency and therefore audible to the human ear). A total of 51 Noctules was counted, leaving the roost to go feeding on insects.



Bat box maintenance.

After observing this, we used bat detectors (which pick up the bats’ echolocation calls) to locate bats on the wing. Five bat species were definitely identified – Noctule, Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Daubenton’s and a Myotis species (probably Whiskered). We moved to the riverside and watched Daubenton’s bats skimming the surface for insects, as well as Pipistrelles flitting around our heads! A memorable evening, many thanks to the Durham Bat Group for making it possible.


August 12 2016



Northumbrian Water have been carrying out maintenance work to sewer pipes close to the north side of the Silverlink bridge.




August 7 2016

Our latest session in the woods saw an enjoyable workout removing invasive brambles from around our young trees in the old hockey field at Old Durham. Later we retired to the garden of the Queen’s Head pub. An excellent turn-out, special thanks to our new members.


The old hockey field was a hive of activity in the sunshine.


We admired the beautiful new bench by Graeme Hopper, above the landslip.









July 3 2016


One of many piles of the invasive Himalayan Balsam we have been removing to give our native woodland plants a foothold.


Friends of Pelaw Wood enjoyed a fine summer morning

of Himalayan Balsam pulling and excess Bracken removal at our regular meeting on the first Sunday of the month. Our next session will be on August 7 2016 at the usual meeting place of St Giles Close.


June 20 2016


New steps and railing at the landslip site.


Wooden fence at what will be the new riverside path.










June 5 2016



Our latest session in the woods involved more clearing of unwanted invasive plants, and of equally unwanted rubbish!

Comments are closed.