Old Moor RSPB reserve, Dearne Valley

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.


PDF, 896Kb. Date: 5 September 2014

Futurescapes - Dearne Valley Green Heart

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. 

Old Moor RSPB reserve, Dearne Valley, general landscape views, June 2003
Old Moor RSPB Reserve

Nearby reserves

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:

Dearne Valley - Bolton Ings

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.

Dearne Valley - Gypsy Marsh

Explore this lowland heath and fen with beautiful wildflowers and birds like yellowhammers and reed buntings, and dingy skipper butterflies.

Dearne Valley - Old Moor

Situated at the heart of the Dearne Valley, Old Moor is a wonderful place to come and watch wildlife. The skies, fields and open water are all teeming with birds throughout the year.

Dearne Valley - Wombwell Ings

Lapwings, redshanks and snipe come to breed at this wet grassland haven. You might also see waders dropping in on their migration or ducks and geese on the open water.

Female mallard washing, Glasgow, Scotland
Dearne Valley Green Heart

Our partners

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:


Aerial view of  Dearne Valley RSPB Reserve, Barnsley

Saving special places