Wasteland set to be transformed to community woodland in former Doncaster pit town

Simon Oldham, Edlington Town Council Clerk, Frank Arrowsmith, Mayor of Edlington and Leigh Calladine, secretary of the Community Woodland Steering group, pictured at the site they plan to turn into a community woodland recreation facility.
Simon Oldham, Edlington Town Council Clerk, Frank Arrowsmith, Mayor of Edlington and Leigh Calladine, secretary of the Community Woodland Steering group, pictured at the site they plan to turn into a community woodland recreation facility.

High tech security cameras are set to pave the way for a major environment project in a former Doncaster pit town.

Edlington Town Council was told this week that it would get a grant to create a closed circuit television camera system which will keep an eye on land off Martinwells Lane - which it now plans to convert from wasteland into a community woodland.

The first stages for the scheme moved forward last October when the authority was awarded a grant to set up a steering group for the woodlands project which is intended to become an amenity for residents.

Now the scheme is set to progress further with the extra security that the cameras will provide.

The cameras will also provide surveillance of the nearby Martinwells Lake area, and a neighbouring allotments site.

Under the plans drawn up by the parish council, what has been a site of overgrown brambles and discarded bricks and electronic goods, will be transformed into a place where people can spend their leisure time.

Officials are regarding the scheme as a long term project, but are ready to start clearing the site up.

An initial survey has reported that there are no hazardous materials on the land.

Parish clerk Simon Oldham said: "The next stage would be to create a formal pathway and cycle route.

"We have now had it confirmed that we will get a grant to put CCTV into the site. That will partly cover the site entrance to Martinwells Lake as well. In the next few weeks columns will be going up and the cameras will be linked to Doncaser Council's CCTV control centre.

"We are starting to clear paths and secure the site. It has pretty much been jungle that no one could penetrate previously. We have a vision of doing this over the next five years."

There is initially a grant from the Nationwide Building Society and the Woodland Trust. Talks are also being held with local businesses about providing help with the scheme.

There will be a 30m buffer zone of brambles left between the woodland and the allotments, at the request of allotment holders, said Mr Oldham.

Planning permission is in place to change from allotments, for which the land was used many years ago, to woodlands.

Mayor of Edlington Frank Arrowsmith is pleased with the scheme.

He said: "I'm delighted that cameras are being put up, as they offer a lot of protection to Martinwells Lake, the woodlands project and the allotment.

"This will be a great, long term project with cycle routes and picnic areas, and it will be paid for by external grants."

He believes schools will use the site for project work in the future.

The woodland will also connect up to the town council's recreation ground, as well as Martinwells Lake, which is used by anglers. The entrance to the community woodland would be on Martinwells Lake..