Heritage boost hopes for Dearne Valley

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Key heritage and environmental sites in the Dearne Valley area will be preserved for future generations to enjoy if a funding bid gets the go-ahead.

A partnership led by Barnsley Council has applied for a £1.9 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant to protect, preserve and enhance the historic buildings and environment across the Dearne Valley.

If the bid is successful, the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership will operate for five years from July to build on a decade of work already carried out by a wide range of partners in the Dearne Valley area – a 177 square kilometre stretch of land which covers parts of Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.

Coun Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s environment spokesman, said: “The DVLP provides a great opportunity to make more people aware of what a great area the Dearne Valley is.

“It has medieval buildings, listed industrial buildings, unexpected wildlife, surprising views and enthusiastic communities.

“The funding will help protect what is there, help people learn more about the area, and actively involve the communities of the Dearne in the future of the area.”

The money will be used for a variety of programmes including archaeological investigations at key sites, exhibitions at such locations as RSPB Old Moor and Experience Barnsley, investment in key heritage sites like Hoyland Lowe Stand and the Parkhill Nature Reserve, improved signs at places of interest, and the development and promotion of a series of guided walks called ‘Stories of the Dearne’.

The funding bid is in its second round, after the council was given a first-round pass in July 2012.