Volunteers bid to open up landmark’s grounds

Park boost: Coun Cynthia Ransome, front centre, unveils interpretation boards at Cusworth Hall, with Marie Cade of Veolia and Ken Burley, watched by volunteers.
Park boost: Coun Cynthia Ransome, front centre, unveils interpretation boards at Cusworth Hall, with Marie Cade of Veolia and Ken Burley, watched by volunteers.
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VOLUNTEERS at a Doncaster visitor attraction are working to transform it for the new year.

Workmen and volunteers have carried out work at Cusworth Hall and Cusworth Park which they expect to provide visitors with more information about the site and more opportunities to look at the wildlife around the Victorian landmark building.

The £24,600 project at the park, a Site of Scientific Interest, aims to make it more accessible to the community.

Volunteers from The Friends of Cusworth Park have been chipping away at the inside of one of the hall’s damp 16th Century outhouses, removing the old plaster to transform and create a community and environmental centre.

The centre will provide education and training sessions and volunteer programmes.

It will also play host to a range of nature-based activities where people can take a closer look at the insects which live in the grounds.

The other part of the project involves creating a new nature walk by extending a popular footpath.

It will enable walkers and people with disabilities to view and enjoy the park’s lower lake and its animal and plant life.

The final phase of the project will see interpretation boards installed along the nature walk and across the park.

These will highlight interesting facts and features about the site’s ecology and landscape.

Funding for the project has come from the Friends group, Doncaster Youth Bank and from the Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded a grant of £21,600 through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Ken Burley, Friends chairman, said: “It is great to see this project take shape.

“It has created a much-needed base with much better facilities for a range of nature study activities to be undertaken by school, community and interest groups.

“Together with the new footpaths and interpretation panels, the combined project is a very welcome improvement for our visitors and users.”

Coun Cynthia Ransome, Doncaster Council cabinet member for communities, said: “These improvements will make coming to Cusworth even more enjoyable and highlight the abundance of wildlife in Doncaster.”