Birds, bees and Barnsley at nature reserve

A NATURE reserve in the Dearne Valley is holding a free open day this weekend, complete with live music, history insights and the chance to learn about wildlife.

The Birds, Brass and Barnsley Tales event at RSPB Old Moor in Manvers will feature brass band performances, as well as a live theatre trail and storytelling walks tracing the site’s coal mining history.

It runs from 9.30am and 5pm on Sunday, September 18.

Old Moor is now and oasis for birds and wildlife within the Dearne Valley, but for generations, coal mining was central to the community and there were

five pit heads within a two-mile radius of the site.

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As well as contributions from Chol Theatre, who will share stories collected from local people who lived and worked in the pits, and poet Winston Plowes, there will be pond dipping, bug hunting and fun and games for kids.

There will also be a chance for visitors to share their own stories and memories of the area.

Lauren Ash, director at Chol, said: “We are very excited about this project. We’re looking forward sharing what people have shared with us through an accessible, engaging performance.”

Liz Harding, community and volunteer engagement officer at Old Moor, added “Birds, Brass and Barnsley Tales is an opportunity to tell the story of where

the reserves and their neighbourhoods have come from and how much the landscape has changed.”

To book, visit, call 01226 751593 or email [email protected].