Former railway to be transformed into a wildlife haven

Pupils from Goldthorpe Primary School are involved in the Railway Embankment environmental scheme
Pupils from Goldthorpe Primary School are involved in the Railway Embankment environmental scheme
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Work is expected to start later this month on a project to transform a piece of disused railway land – which has been blighted by problems including fly tipping – into a new outdoor destination for residents in a disadvantaged community.

The railway embankment project has been backed by a £20,000 investment by the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, a body which works to improve the environment in the area, and is supported by the Dearne Valley Area Council, a body created by Barnsley Council to improve the area for residents.

When the scheme is complete, it will feature and orchard and wildflower area, with a new access route also to be created to allow people to get into the site.

A height extension to the Straight Lane Bridge is also expected to be constructed later this month as part of the project, which has already seen volunteers working to clear up the site and attempts made to deter fly tipping, which appear to have had some success.

Children from Goldthorpe Primary School have also been working on a batch of bird boxes and a hedgehog hotel which have been donated for the scheme and they are expected to be installed at the site to encourage wildlife as the project progresses.

A series of interpretation boards are also being designed by the Landscape Partnership and they will be installed to help provide an explanation for visitors of various facets of the site.

Early work on devising the scheme was done with the co-operation of university students from Sheffield, with The Railway Embankment Group formed to help bring the plans to reality.

That includes the Dearne Area Team, which works on behalf of the area council, the Thurnscoe and Goldthorpe Big Local organisations, Network Rail, residents and other local groups.