£1.2m grant to boost River Don’s heritage

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A £1.2m Heritage Lottery grant will enhance and celebrate the rich, natural and industrial heritage of the River Don, as part of a project by the Don Catchment Rivers Trust.

‘The Living Heritage of the River Don’ project aims to reconnect local communities with the river, making it better valued as a major South Yorkshire asset.

Karen Eynon, Project Manager for Don Catchment Rivers Trust - established in 2008 to help protect and improve the rivers in the River Don catchment area - said: “We’re over the moon that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The rivers of the Don catchment historically provided prosperity to South Yorkshire and we think it’s time to recognise, restore and celebrate their contribution to our heritage.”

The ongoing works are also expected to encourage the return to the area, of the once prolific salmon.

Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “In the 18th century, apprentices in the centre of Sheffield complained that they were forced to eat salmon for lunch every day. We are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to fund this project which will once more make salmon commonplace throughout the Don catchment area, and help people better understand the natural heritage at the heart of their communities.”

The project will also signpost a long-distance heritage trail from Doncaster to Sheffield and provide opportunities for people and communities to learn from the heritage that surrounds them, helping to develop new skills and interact with their heritage in new ways.

Karen added: “We’re really hoping this project will capture the imagination of the people of South Yorkshire.”