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The Lindholme Old Moor Management Group
Following the successful collaboration with conservation groups through the Peat (Skid) Moor appeal, we now work in partnership with the Lindholme Old Moor Management Group, a council of experts whose remit is our 60 acres of uncut peatland. This valuable expertise enables us to properly manage this very rare resource.

In December 2012, following the success of the Appeal, 30 acres of the land to the north-east of Lindholme Hall was purchased and deeded in perpetuity for the purpose of conservation. The site is part of an area of land known as Jack’s Piece and, following historic records, has been named Lindholme Old Moor. 

In November 2013, the remaining parcel of Jack’s Piece was acquired, giving Rangjung Yeshe UK a total of 60 acres of rare habitat to manage and care for.

The Lindholme Old Moor Management Group consists of a group of independent specialists who, on a voluntary basis, have kindly agreed to help us manage Jack’s Piece to best preserve and protect this rare and precious habitat.

This is in line with Pete Skidmore’s vision who, with unusual force, declared at a naturalists’ meeting, “we must do something to protect the north part of Lindholme island!”

We hope to fulfil his wish, which resonates with the wishes of many who are passionate about Thorne and Hatfield Moors.

The Vision of the Management Group
1. To maintain the site as a suitable and viable refugium for the natural/managed re-colonisation of lowland raised-mire flora and fauna to the adjacent parts of Hatfield Moors SSSI.

2. As a baseline in advance of any future habitat management, to compile an inventory of the organisms including the Rare, Scarce, Red Data Book and Protected species occurring on the site.

3. To monitor and manage populations of these species.

4. To monitor and manage the water table across the site (by dip-wells; by controlling run-off; and by reducing arboreal transpiration) to enable the site to function as a Wet Mire and Wet Sandy Heath.

LOMM members Colin Howes and Michael Oliver have produced a research paper detailing water table trends and the recent history of Birch colonisation on Lindholme Old Moor. The paper offers historical insight into the approach of the LOMM group.

The LOMM group wishes to encourage further scientific study of the area. If you would like to undertake a study or survey, please email national@gomde.uk.

Group Members
Colin Wall has many years of experience in the field as an amateur naturalist, dating from the early 70s when he first started studying Thorne and Hatfield Moors. Initially, his interests were varied and included ornithology, Coleoptera and general flora and fauna. Although he still retains an interest in natural history in general, for the past past 30 years he has concentrated on the study of mosses and liverworts.

Early articles and publications include a comprehensive study of Southfield Reservoirs and several ornithological papers concerning the Doncaster area. He has since contributed bryological papers for the Thorne and Hatfield Moors Papers, a publication of the Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum.
In 2006, in addition to covering the Doncaster area, Colin was asked by the British Bryological Society to record in the East Riding of Yorkshire for the new edition of the Atlas of Bryophytes in Britain and Ireland.

Pip Seccombe is an enthusiastic amateur naturalist. She is passionate about Thorne and Hatfield Moors.

“I was part of a group which eventually achieved its aim to get these wonderful areas out of the hands of the commercial peat extractors. For many years I was involved in practical work at Lindholme creating habitat for nightjar, one of the very special creatures which breed on the moors.

“Further afield I contributed to the Plant Atlas of South Yorkshire, both in the field work and the production of the publication.

“I am proud to have been a friend of Peter Skidmore’s, in whose memory the money was raised to purchase Lindholme Old Moor which is now safe in the hands of the Buddhist Community at Lindholme Hall. Pete was a mentor and inspiration to me and many others.”
Louise Hill has worked as a freelance ecologist since leaving postgraduate training in Landscape Design at Sheffield University in 1995, having first studied for a degree in Botany (Plant Sciences) at Oxford. She has been involved with Lindholme Old Moor since the mid 1990s when the Doncaster Naturalists’ Society ran informal birch-bashing work days to improve habitat for nightjar on what was then fondly known as the “Section 39 Area”.

In her spare time, Louise is now President of the Naturalists’ Society and represents the Society at various other groups such as the Doncaster Biodiversity Action Partnership and Local Wildlife Site steering group.

Louise is married to Tim, an engineer who also studied at Oxford and who now works in IT. Tim has been advising the Management Group on various technical projects including mapping, aerial photography and a weather station for environmental monitoring.

When remaining spare time allows, Louise and Tim can be found mountain biking and hillwalking, or wild camping, mountaineering and Nordic skiing in Scotland.
Paul Buckland graduated in Geological Sciences and Archaeology from the University of Birmingham, where he subsequently completed a doctorate in Quaternary Entomology. He has taught in the universities of Birmingham, Sheffield, Bristol and Bournemouth and is currently a self-employed technician specialising in work with fossil insects. 
Richard Lyon was born at Lindholme Hall. His family farmed the land here.

“We were a large family. I was the eldest of 4 brothers and besides us, Mum and Dad, my Dad’s brother, Uncle Harry and their Mum, Minnie Lyon, my Nana also lived with us in the house. When I left school, I went to Agricultural College at Shuttleworth, Bedfordshire, then returned to work on the family farm from 1972 onwards.

“I lived at Lindholme Hall from birth to getting married to Marjorie in 1982, when we moved into No 2 Lindholme Cottage. In 1985, we had a new bungalow built at the other end of the farm, Lindholme Grange, which is where we still are today.

“Dad, Harry (we never called him Uncle!) and I farmed the 500 acres of arable land growing, originally, sugar beet, potatoes, wheat, barley, rye, oats and beans, not necessarily all at the same time.

“We had the farm under-drained in the early 70s because we were being flooded out in wet years, then when the peat production got into full swing in the mid 70s, it actually helped us because they drained the Moorland, helping to drain our land.

“Harry died in the mid 1970s and when Dad died, just after we were married, Mum took on doing most of the paperwork and I carried on farming alone, growing wheat, barley, peas and linseed and renting land out for potatoes, vining peas and red beet. It wasn’t easy for quite a few years, the bank balance was massively into the red, but we eventually pulled it round and managed to upgrade the machinery and pay off the overdraft.

“Dad, Jack Lyon, had previously signed an agreement to prevent the moorland behind the Cottages ever being used for peat production. This area of land, amounting to 60 acres, is now known as Jack’s Piece.”

Richard now farms the land around Lindholme Grange. He has some of his land in Higher Level Stewardship and Entry Level Stewardship.

“We have about 40 acres of Stewardship grass margins around nearly every field and about 4 or 5 acres total of wild bird cover, field corners, feed strips, etc. On the rest of the now 450-acre farm we grow wheat, barley, oilseed rape, willow (for biomass fuel) and have just started growing maize for gas production. We’ve considered solar panels but not yet taken the plunge!”

Michael Oliver worked in the Coal Mining Industry as a Mining Surveyor from 1955 until its virtual collapse in 1991. He became a Certificated Mine Surveyor, FRICS in the Minerals Section and gained M. Phil. at the University of Nottingham, specialising in Mining Subsidence. Following redundancy at British Coal he was employed by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council as a Town & Country Planner and became Case Officer for Thorne & Hatfield Moors from 1991 to retirement in 2003, steering the moors through a most interesting and eventful decade.

“During this period I became interested in the conservation aspects of the moors and concentrated on conserving remnant populations of the ‘wet end’ of the species range on Lindholme Old Moor until such time as they might get the opportunity of re-colonising the adjacent abandoned peat workings of Hatfield Moors. Also during this period, I made the find of a lifetime when discovering a neolithic trackway adjacent to Lindhome Old Moor.”

Michael said “I am not a trained naturalist but I trust that I bring a different expertise and point of view to the Lindholme Old Moor Management Group” and indeed he does!

Tim Kohler, Bob Marsh and Colin Howes are also members of the management group. In the near future, we hope to add photos and profiles for all of our experts, to show the range of knowledge that has been volunteered for this special project.