Work to turn an area of disused railway land in Goldthorpe, Barnsley into a new outdoor destination for residents and communities will start this week.
The Dearne Area Council Team established ‘The Railway Embankment Group’ as a response to the frustrations from local residents that the embankment area had become blighted with flytipping and despite numerous efforts, the area continued to be an eyesore.
The team worked with the University of Sheffield, Network Rail, Salvation Army, Goldthorpe Development Group, Twiggs, Local Landlords, Elected Members, Dearne Valley Landscape partnership, Big Local Goldthorpe, wildlife enthusiasts, local residents, BMBC site agents, Housing officers, RSPB and local primary schools. To design a project to transform the disused railway line running through the centre of Goldthorpe into the natural habitat for the local community to counteract the blight of fly-tipping and unsightly bridges in the area.
The group have been successful in securing funds to start the project from Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, Tesco bags for help, Barnsley Bonds, Section 106 and the Dearne Area Council.
During the initial stage of the project, Architecture students from Sheffield University worked with residents to create a vision for the area. The Railway Embankment Group and local volunteers meet regularly, and carried out litter picks and campaigns to clean up the area ready for the work to begin. Pupils from Goldthorpe Primary School have made bird boxes and a hedgehog hotel for the scheme to encourage wildlife to the area, which will be placed at the site once the access route is complete.
The scheme is due to complete in 2019 and once finished the embankment will feature an orchard and wildflower area, with a new access route to allow people to get into the site. The site will be used for local environmental and wildlife sessions for all of the community to benefit. Interpretation boards designed by the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership will be installed to provide visitors with the history and facts about the site.
Councillor Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities, said: “It is fantastic to see this transformation project moving forward. The Dearne Area Council Team have created a real buzz about this project and have worked creatively with so many groups and organisations to bring this project forward.
“So many people have supported this work so far, and we are grateful for the contributions and ongoing support. We know that when we all work together, we can make some real sustainable change in our communities.
“We are all looking forward in seeing the disused railway land transformed into a somewhere beautiful for residents and wildlife to enjoy. This would not have been possible without the hard work and funding and commitments from many.”