A NATURE charity’s bid to open up the wild world to people in the Dearne Valley has been given a Lottery boost.
The RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home in the Dearne project has been awarded £87,300 development funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
It means the charity can progress with its plans and apply for a full grant at a later date.
The project aims to make the Dearne Valley even better for wildlife and also improve visitor facilities so the public can enjoy it.
The RSPB runs the Old Moor nature reserve on Manvers Way, Wath, which is one of its most popular attractions in the north.
The charity wants to enable people to understand its work and get people involved in conservation and more connected to nature.
Matthew Capper, RSPB senior site manager for the Dearne Valley, said: “We’re thrilled to receive this support from HLF, made possible thanks to National Lottery players.
“This project will really help us to further improve the already wonderful wildlife experience in the Dearne Valley and, along with it, the experience our visitors have.
“We hope people will come to the Valley to learn and engage with natural heritage and tell the story of the local area. We will also be increasing the opportunities for volunteering and training to support conservation.
“The whole Valley is rich in culture and tradition, with a unique mix of industrial and natural heritage. This is a place where despite slag heaps, a once lifeless river and the pollution associated with the coal industry, wildlife has flourished. Old Moor has a unique mix of industrial heritage and a fascinating story of local people working together to make a difference to their local environment.”
David Renwick, head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We look forward to seeing the detailed project proposals in due course.”