Anston Parish Council Considers Ban on Mountain Bikes in Anston Stones

In a move of almost “what foot shall I shoot myself in next” proportions Anston Parish Council decided tonight to move forward to study the possibility of banning bikes (of the push variety) from Anston Stones.

Some Councillors thought the idea ludicrous with at least two confirming they took their bikes there regularly. Others thought the sites SSSI protection (Site of Special Scientific Interest) meant that mountain biking was a form of criminal damage.

Deliberately damaging a SSSI is indeed a criminal offence but the gentle erosion caused by cycling (not to mention walking and horse riding) makes this tenuous at best.

One Councillor expressed surprise that groups of twenty cyclists were using the woods at time and wondered what would happen if such a group ran roughshod over a family group in one of the tunnels.

Cooler heads pointed out that cycling has been going on there for decades and it’s not happened yet (as far as anyone seemed to know)

It transpired that this all came about via an email sent to the clerk. A group of 20 (horror!!) cyclists were recently making their way through the wood and one of them ran out of talent on a tricky descent. An ambulance had some difficulty getting to him and were helped by a local contractor familiar with the layout of the Stones.

This led the Council to ponder whether the woods are suitable for cycling at all and they resolved to go away and fact find before bringing it back to a future meeting.

They also resolved to consider:

  1. Banning fishing in Anston Stones
  2. Banning Dogs from pay areas and playing fields on the rec ground.

This led to further questions about how such bans would be enforced and what could be done about the sheer amount of dog poo littering the local area. As the meeting ground to a halt no one had any answers but they resolved to meet again soon and discuss.

What do you think about banning cycling from the Stones?

Do you ride there? Have you ever sliced a family in half with your front wheel?

What about fishing?

And do you clean up after your dog? If so well done, if not a plague on you and your house!

Please feel free to comment below.


South Yorkshire Police Refuse to Help on Remembrance Sunday

In a truly bizarre cutback of suicidal political proportions South Yorkshire Police are informing the British Legion and other key stakeholders that officers will no longer be sent to close roads for the Remembrance Sunday procession in Dinnington.

Organisers have been told they will have to pay Rotherham Council to close the roads and then pay to hire their own marshals to stop people wandering into the road.

This is the cyanide on the cake for Dinnington which recently had its Sergeant and safer neighbourhood team removed and replaced by a pair of PCSOs who will be shared with other villages. Dinnington Police station will be closed to save £12,000 per year.

Labour Police Commissioner Alan Billings promised that Police would have access to a room in the Dinnington Resource Centre 24 hours a day. The Police themselves have said that the room will be used as a base and not manned, the public can meet the Police there if they happen to be using it at the time.

It will NOT be manned 24 hours a day as local Labour politician Judy Dalton seems to think. Please could we ask local Councillors like Katherine Wilson to NOT re-tweet things without first establishing them as fact.



A few other rumours have been circulating regarding Policing and we can offer the following…

  1. Dinnington will have two PCSOs most of the time, they will generally work during the day, but not usually after 10pm.
  2. They will be patrolling in cars, on bikes, on foot and occasionally using the bus.
  3. The Police 999 service usually comes from Maltby, NO restriction has been places on officers as to what route they use to get here, local rumours had suggested that they could no longer use back roads.
  4. The PCSOs will NOT have to commute from Maltby via bike or bus, we are told they are usually in a car or dropped off by car.
  5. Rotherham Police are not short of cars, they have on average 1 car for every two front line officers which is regarded as optimal.
  6. The room as Dinnington Resource Centre will come online in June and will be manned from time to time only. It will NOT be manned at night.
  7. Crime cannot be reported via the Resource Centre, call 101.

If you have any information or anything regarding policing you would like us to look into please feel free to leave a comment below.

As for Remembrance Sunday we would expect a retraction of this rather clumsy policy so stay tuned.

Dump Labour and Vote Independent!

Do Dinnington and Anston a favour if you really must vote Labour and stay at home!

It’s that time of year again, you’ve probably had the pamphlets through the door already. It’s the only time the Rotherham Labour party give a monkeys about Dinnington and Anston…. That’s right! **ELECTION TIME!!**

Any day now they will be knocking on your door, perhaps accompanied by the local MP if he’s not too busy referring himself to the Parliamentary Standards Committee.

If course they’ll want to talk to you about Tory cuts and how it would be so much better if they were running things, but you might want to ask a few questions:

  1. Just who was it who allowed hundreds of young girls to be abused on the streets of Rotherham for years?
  2. Why is the Labour controlled Police force withdrawing officers from our community and closing our Police station? Why don’t we get our fair share of South Yorkshire Police resources?
  3. Why do we see year on year under investment in our local infrastructure whilst our Council tax is spent in Rotherham town centre?
  4. Why don’t we have leisure facilities in Dinnington or Anston? Why did they get built in Maltby and Aston when we have a higher population here?
  5. Why are all the travellers camps in Rotherham earmarked for our area?

Yes, it’s the Labour party!

This year we have three independent candidates in Dinnington and two in Anston. Vote Independent and Dump Labour in 2016!

Archaeology in Anston Stones Part Two

Hot off the press is some more information on when archaeologists from Durham University will be visiting Anston Stones to perform a dig neat Dead Man’s Cave.

The dates are 3-15 of July this year and the team will be led by Professor Mark White.

They are concentrating on an area on a small gorge just down from the top path on Dead Man’s Cave and will be excavating small trenches near to the rock face. This is a follow up visit as detailed in our previous article.

The team are happy to receive visitors while they are on site and will be able to speak to interested members of the general public about their work.

Dead Man’s Cave us best reached from the top path through the stones, keep going until you see a field with a big owl box in it (at least I think that’s what it is), then turn right into the woods for a few minutes. The cave is in a little gorge when you reach the rock face. Be careful with kids and pets as it’s a long way to fall if you go the wrong way!

Councillor Christine Sadler of Anston Parish Council said “It’s a great opportunity for us all to find out something fascinating about the past right on our doorstep. Anston Stones is owned and managed as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) by Anston Parish Council so it’s locally owned and protected by representatives voted in by the people of Anston.”

Anston Stones was originally gifted to the then local authority Kiveton and District in the 1950s by the Duke of Leeds estate, it was absorbed into the newly created RMBC in the 70s and passed eventually to Anston Parish Council.

The site covers 88 acres and was notified as an SSSI in 1955. One very unusual feature for such a place is the mineral railway running through it. This adds an element of recent history to the Stones and means you have many fine features such as the bridge below to admire when walking through the woods.

As always if taking dogs please respect the local wildlife and clean up that poop!

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Archaeologists to Revisit Anston Stones

Archaeologists are to visit Anston Stones again this year after a successful dig in 2015.

The leader of the team has said they will welcome visits to the site by the general public whilst carrying out the work, more info as we get it!

Anston Stones is a SSSI (usually pronounced “triple SI”) a government designation for a Site of Special Scientific Interest. As such it is protected by law and damaging it can attract a criminal prosecution.

The site has many interesting features from Dead Man’s Cave to the mineral railway which runs through the site alongside Anston Brook.

Here is a link if you want to read their past report from the site (rather technical)

Anston Archeological Dig Prelim Report 2015

Walking: Harthill Reservoir

We are pleased to kick off our series on local walks and bike rides!

Now the weather is getting better it’s time to get out into the local countryside and spend some time outdoors. Dust off the walking boots and pump your bike tyres up!

First up is Harthill Reservoir and Sailing Club, a delightful little stretch of water which feeds this end of the not quite restored Chesterfield Canal.

First of all please ensure you are pronouncing “Harthill” properly. The H’s are essentially silent so it’s “Art-ill” Using the first H is acceptable (“har-t-ILL”) but try and emphasise the “ILL” if you must do that. Saying “Hart-Hill” just means you’re a wally.

Now that’s out of the way let’s get on with the walk!

Harthill Reservoir is three small but beautiful ponds/reservoirs reached via Woodhall Lane, Pryor Mede, Carver Close, then Carver Way from the main drag through Harthill. There’s a fairly ample car park and a nice path which takes your round the entire reservoir.

The best views are from the little bridges and the dam wall.

No real directions required, we went through the car park and past the Yacht Club to go round the reservoir clockwise, make sure you detour onto the little bridges as well. You can either follow the path around all 3 or make the walk shorter by crossing over the bridges.

In the woodland near the dam wall there also a lot of bird activity if you’re of the twitching persuasion. Sailing is also done on the lake, however I’m not sure of the arrangements at the Sailing Club and assume you need to be a member and have a boat. Fishing is also on offer, although I’m not a fisherman so couldn’t advise on seasons and permits, etc.

In Summary:

Accessibility: Good

Beauty factor: 8/10

Chav factor: Low

Dog muck factor: Low/Medium

Highly recommended!


Dinnington Town Council Snubbed by Resource Centre Trustees

Dinnington Town Council have been told to sling their hook at the Resource Centre.

The Council is entitled to nominate two representatives to sit on the board of trustees but their nominees have been deemed not worthy by forces unknown.
This is strange as DTC is the democratically elected Council of Dinnington and you’d think the Resource Centre would be keen to engage.
Also who we wonder is currently occupying the seats meant for the DTC representatives?
And does all this have anything to do with left over animosity by the former Labour Cllrs, who left the Town Council at the last election under mysterious circumstances?
More info as we get it…

Dinnington Police Station to Close!

Dinnington Police Station is officially closing!

Run down for decades the building is now merely a base for the very small team of PCSOs left in Rother Valley South. But now we will be losing it altogether as confirmed by the Area Commander at the latest Rother Valley South Area Assembly meeting in Woodsetts.

Also in attendance was the Police Commissioner who gave a rather uncertain and not very confident speech about the need to save money and cut back on services. He said the future would be sharing of facilities with the other blue light services like ambulance and fire, which are not to be found anywhere near Dinnington either!

Our beleaguered PCSOs (no Constables or Sergeant are now to be found in Dinnington at all) will be based for part of their day at the Dinnington Resource Centre. This seems to have become a theme, if you want to cut a service or close a building move it there.

At least folks can have a read in the library while they wait for the fuzz to show up. Also don’t expect any out of hours services, there won’t be any!

Our suggestion? Why don’t the Police rent a couple of houses to use as bases in Dinnington? suitable roads which spring to mind would be Leicester Road and Doe Quarry Terrace. The rents are low and the Police would have very little distance to travel to their ummm…. “customer base”

Not that we are suggesting everyone on these streets are criminals, but we have spoken to many people from these roads who would welcome a larger Police presence, not the cut down service we seem to be destined for.

Just our 2p……


Does Dinnington Police Station have a Future?

What’s actually inside Dinnington Police Station? Police Constables and a Sergeant? Bigfoot? Nope, and we’ll be lucky if it’s still standing in a year or so the way we’re going!

It’s not secret that the Police are facing cutbacks, money is tight, budgets will be squeezed for at least another 5 years as the government tries desperately to balance the books without inconveniencing rich people.

Dinnington Police Station hasn’t been an actual Police Station for many years, one of the former officers once joked to me that if I were to knock on the door all the officers inside would just hide under the table (assuming they still have tables) (and officers come to that)

The 999 response service has now operated from Maltby for donkeys years and although the Police can still surprise us with good response times (like the last time I had to dial 999) this surely can’t be as good as a service based and operating from Dinnington.

Officers laugh when you ask them about the Blackberries and tablet computers that senior officers refer to in press releases and many types of crime now go un-investigated.

When I last asked the Police to view a computer file and tell me what they thought to it I was told they don’t have any computers, they’d all been sent to Hull (?!)

When I asked if the finger print man could come and look at my wife’s car which had just had a wheel stolen I was told (politely) that he wouldn’t be turning up.

Rumours are now afoot that Dinnington Police Station might now be finally going the way of the Dodo, extinct altogether with all services for Rother Valley South withdrawn to Maltby.

When I’ve reported crime recently it is more and more obvious that the Police have little or no idea on who the local villains and yobbos are any more, they aren’t in control, they are just reacting to events as best they can.

How can a policing team based in Maltby know where to find Johnny Scumbag from North Anston who’s just drove into you on his uninsured motorbike?

We are 8% of the Rotherham Borough and you’d think that would entitle us to 8% of a share of the resources, but money and staff are still concentrated in the large metro areas like Rotherham and Sheffield. The law of the wild west is descending on the more rural and remote areas like Dinnington and Anston.

Rotherham Council are constantly telling us that we are a “Principal Town” and when they are looking to build swathes of new houses on our countryside this does seem to be the case. When it comes to resources like policing and leisure facilities we are reminded of the realities of being in a rural location!

More news as we get it!

Wild Flowers at the Pit Top

A waddle round Anston’s wild flower wonder!



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Wallow in the pond, watch the birds, wander where the Willows weep. In any weather, rain or shine or winter wonderland, our very own wellie-free footpath heaven.

Wild flowers are in magnificent abundance during summer months with an added bonus of the rare BEE ORCHID!

What was once a mucky spoil mountain from Dinno pit is now a special easily accessible get away with wonderful rural views out to the Derbyshire peaks.

Beauty, peace and quiet free for all, folks. Keep to the paths and protect flowers and ground nesting birds. Please take all litter home and pick up after your dog.

Flowers: Bee Orchid, Common Vetch, Dog Rose, Deadly Nightshade, Creeping Thistle, Meadow Buttercup, Common Spotted Orchid and Ox-Eye Daisy.

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