The Parks Services team manage over 30 of the Council's less formal green spaces, including several nature reserves, fishing ponds, most of the relict canal network and some disused railway lines (but not the Trans Pennine Trail - see 'Public Rights Of Way').
Most of the borough's other green spaces are not owned by BMBC, even those of high nature conservation value. We compile an annual report of the status of all the borough's 88 Local Sites, known as 'Local Wildlife Sites' (previously called 'Natural Heritage Sites') and 'Local Geological Sites' (or ‘RIGS’ – Regionally Important Geological or Geomorphological Sites). A simple map of all the Local Wildlife Sites can be viewed here.
The five declared Local Nature Reserves managed by Parks Services are:
- Carlton Marsh
- Dearne Valley Park (Hoyle Mill/ Monk Bretton)
- Elsecar Reservoir
- Potter Holes Plantation (Tankersley)
- West Haigh Wood (Grimethorpe).
We currently have management plans for all our five LNR's (Local Nature Reserves).
Countryside Management Projects are taking place at the nature reserves on an ongoing basis - please contact us for more information.
The most recent large-scale project was the 'Growth Point' one for Dearne Valley Park, whereby £123,000 of grant funding was spent for environmental improvements. Sub-projects within this include: improving wetland in a disused canal near Beevor Street, opening up some river access for fishing and canoeing, planting up new woodland blocks, improving paths and signs, habitat improvements to benefit otters and water voles.
Ongoing projects undertaken by our Countryside Rangers and organised with Voluntary Action Barnsley include woodland management, scrub management, path maintenance and invasive species control.
Three of our nature reserves have been shortlisted for potential grant-funded projects by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Subject to approval, work should begin in the summer 2014.
We own large areas of woodland across Barnsley, which we manage for both nature conservation and public recreation. Most of these areas are available for you to enjoy all year round, and we do our very best to manage them sustainably, so that things stay that way for years to come. You may also be interested in visiting South Yorkshire Forest - an area which many of our woodlands are part of.
A 'landscape character assessment' tells us what kind of land we have, and where.