Fungi and stones at Capel’s Mill, Stroud

Quite a range of fungi has been found at this site this autumn. The woodchips which we bring and put around trees (as a mulch) seem to sprout all sorts of varieties, photographed here by our volunteer, Jean Chatelain.

Capels Mill 5







Capel’s Mill ‘Climate Cairn’

Building commenced this summer, of a communal dry-stone structure, involving as many people as possible, who are invited to bring a stone, a rock, or a pebble!

It will form a dry-stone dome with cavities at the base for toads and newts to hide in with wildflowers over the top. Each stone represents a step towards saving the biosphere, e.g.:

- An effective climate agreement at the UN climate conference in November 2021; 

- A district-wide ‘carbon neutral by 2030’ strategy;Capels Mill 4

- A national renewable energy supply;

- Carbon-zero housing​;

- Peat restoration​;

- Wildlife-friendly farming;

and many, many more steps that are essential.

The Climate Cairn aims to stimulate long-term planning to secure the future of life on the planet, through awareness of the Earth’s great age, and understanding of its processes that sustain us.Both the geology and prehistory of our landscape are relevant. Our local limestone and clay rocks are from the Jurassic age, 200 million years old, and the Neolithic barrows on the Cotswold hills are a mere 5,000 years old!

Thinking with ‘Deep Time’ in mind will help make long-term species-saving decisions.

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From May, Stroud District Council, who own the land at Capel’s Mill, provided funding for us to do eight days of maintenance, which we have run as sixteen half days.Capels Mill dipping

We are having monthly workdays through the winter, where a core of volunteers lead the maintenance, cutting back to improve access and visibility, litter picking, scything and raking up the meadow, while Richard’s team have been maintaining the young trees: removing tubes, tying up fallen trees, mulching with woodchip.

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Stroud in Bloom came to the site on Tuesday 11th July, and we also shared the site with a canal open day on Saturday 22nd July when we had a meadow plant survey, pond dipping, drawing and observing nature workshop with Steve Roberts. We also held a scything workshop.

As we scythed this summer we came across wildlife living at the base of this grassy world: a nest of three baby bank voles, a toad, snails and newts. A mammal footprint tunnel has been deployed, which uses an ink pad, paper sheets and some food to tempt small mammals to walk through and leave their footprints. There have been plant surveys through the year by Deb Roberts and we are developing a list of species so that the different years can be compared. Some flowers have decreased in number (wild carrot) whilst others have increased (common knapweed) since it was sown in July 2013.

The GEM project with Julie has been working at Arundel’s Mill Pond, with nettle clearance around the trees planted there.

Road safety at the pedestrian crossing close to the site has been raised with Stroud Town Council - everyone is advised to wait for cars to stop!

Please ring Clare at SVP for more information about these sessions on 01453 753358


Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107


Stroud Valleys Project

8 Threadneedle Street




Tel: 01453 753358


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