Where is Toton Fields?
Toton Fields is the area that stretches from the High Road to Carrfield Avenue (Manor Farm Park Open Space), and Banks Road Open Space, i.e. the area between Carrfield Avenue and Toton Sidings alongside the two Erewash river channels, and including the area between the River Erewash and the top of the hill, i.e. between Banks Road on one side and the disused Toton Sidings on the other. Toton Fields has many different habitats. These range from two river channels, wetland, scrub and rough grassland; woodland planted during the last twenty years, old hedgerows, disused railway sidings, playing fields and maintained grassland.
Why 'Toton Fields'?
This is what the area was called on 19th century maps. The centre of the area being where the Greenwood Community Centre now stands. It was surrounded by four farms and two overlapping ones, a mill, a mill-race and a mill pond. Vestiges of these areas still exist in places, such as the hedgerows, old water courses and plants typical of the agricultural scene. The area is full of interest - over one-hundred species of birds and over two-hundred species of wild flowers have been recorded. If the grasses, sedges, rushes and trees were added to the list the wild plant total would be substantially higher. There is a wide range of mammals, insects and aquatic species and there is always something of interest to be seen throughout the year.
How did the group come about?
The systematic recording of the wildlife interest of the area over the years and its amenity value to local residents led Broxtowe Borough Council’s officers and local councillors in partnership with Groundwork Greater Nottingham and the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to initiate the setting up of a Friends of Toton Fields Group in April 2008 and a committee was formed to steer the group. The aim of the group is to study, make known, conserve, enhance and protect the area of land collectively known as Toton Fields as a generally accessible place of natural interest, diversity and amenity. This would involve local involvement in practical management tasks, local study groups involving people of all ages including children’s and youth groups, participation of local schools in wildlife projects, habitat creation and using the area as an outdoor classroom.
Broxtowe Borough Council asked the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to write a Management Plan for the area which has now been completed and the Council have now designated the area as a Local Nature Reserve which gives the area an added degree of protection.
What do we do?
The Friends of Toton Fields Group’s interaction with the people of Toton has involved local history and nature walks, evening talks and events (including a highly popular and successful talk on the history of Toton). We have held Maintenance/Litter Pick days where a substantial amount of rubbish and litter was removed from the area. We have been joined on several occasions by members of the River Erewash Foundation who do a great job in removing items from the river. Find out what's coming up on the Events & Activities page.
The Friends of Toton Fields Group also produces regular Members newsletters, these are sent to members, and a copy is published on the Documents page.
On the wildlife scene apart from conducting fauna and flora surveys more practical work has been undertaken. This has involved the planting of several of the rare and important tree, the native Black Poplar, the putting up of nest boxes on local trees and assisting in the drainage of footpaths. Members of the Group attend meetings and liaise with partner organisations – the Broxtowe Wildlife Forum, The Friends of the Greenwood Forest Forum, the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the River Erewash Foundation.
While the aim of the group is focused on caring for the natural environment, we are happy to provide links to information that is of more general interest to our members, especially those about Toton and the surrounding area. See the Local Links page, and please let us know of any other sites through the Contact Us page.
Membership is open to all households, and is particularly aimed at residents of Toton and adjoining areas. Membership is currently £10 per household per annum. Please print out a copy of the membership form on the Documentspage and post it to us. Members receive at least four newsletters per year and are informed about events that are organised by the group.
We also offer Group and Business memberships. Group membership is aimed at local voluntary groups, and is an economical way for you to receive and pass on news about the Friends of Toton Fields. Please Contact Us if this would be of interest.
Business membership is aimed primarily at local businesses and self-employed people living in the area. Business members are entitled to place a small logo and link on the website, will receive communications in the same way as other members – and will have a small warm feeling of having ‘done their bit’ for the community! Please Contact Us if this would be of interest to you.
How you can help
There are many ways you can help support the Friends of Toton Fields. The group organises activities such as rubbish clearance and general maintenance roughly twice a year. Other ways you might be able to help include;
* Finding (or being!) speakers at one of our regular presentations
* Being an informal warden (especially if you regularly walk through the area)
* Delivering newsletters to members who are not on the internet
* Delivering flyers
* Helping to find funding for special projects