Dearne Valley Green Heart
Dearne Valley Green Heart
Once the proud heart of the Yorkshire coalfield, the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire is now characterised by a diverse mixture of wetlands, farmland and woodland.
Mining and heavy industry have left their mark on the Dearne Valley, but this legacy has provided the opportunity to rejuvenate the landscape and shape its future. We are retaining important features of our industrial heritage and providing a home for a rich variety of plants and animals. We are, for example, creating wetlands in areas of subsidence and a mixture of woodland and grassland on spoil heaps.
The Dearne Valley is one of only 12 Nature Improvement Areas in England. We are working as part of the Dearne Valley Green Heart Partnership to transform the valley into a place where people and nature thrive, a place where people want to work, live and spend their free time.
By creating a healthy and attractive natural environment, we are supporting the development of a growing green economy and flourishing local communities.
Explore the area
Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape is:
This new reserve provides a chance to get up close to a reedbed and its fascinating inhabitants. Bitterns come to spend winter camouflaged amongst the reeds and we hope they'll stay to breed soon. It's easy to access from the Dearne Way footpath and Trans Pennine Trail.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Dearne Valley. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
- Barnsley Biodiversity Trust
- Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
- Dearne Valley Eco-Vision
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Don Catchments Rivers Trust
- Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
- The Environment Agency
- Forestry Commission
- Groundwork Dearne Valley
- Heritage Lottery Fund
- Natural England
- Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
- South Yorkshire Forest Partnership
- Yorkshire Water
- Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Saving special places
Victory for Harapan Rainforest
Beautiful Hutan Harapan forest is a precious remnant of the rainforest that once covered much of Sumatra (Photo: RSPB-images/Steve Roland) Hutan Harapan is one of the last remaining areas of dry lowland Sumatran forest and is among the most th...(r...Posted 12/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Rila Mountains: The Final Piece in Bulgaria's Protected Area Network for Birds
Daniel Pullan, our International Casework Manager writes: I was thrilled last week when my Bulgarian colleague Irina Mateeva told me that the Bulgarian Government had designated the last part of the Rila Mountains as a Special Protection Area. This a...Posted 04/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
A net gain for nature
How can built development leave the natural environment in a better shape than it was before? This is the question at the heart of Defra’s recent consultation on ‘biodiversity net gain’. We know from the State of Nature 2016 report ...(read more)Posted 01/03/2019 by Simon Marsh
What will the new NPPF mean for places, people and nature?
On Tuesday the Government published a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England. You can see our previous commentary on the draft version here , here and here . The NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England...(read ...Posted 27/07/2018 by Steph