Proud heritage of Dearne Valley nature reserve

OLD Moor is celebrating 20 years as an RSPB nature reserve — with a heritage exhibition looking back a lot further than that.

The team has pieced together the story from the mid-18th century farmhouse to the current environmental attraction.

In between, Old Moor has been the place where Anthony St Leger trained his racehourses before he set up the famous annual Doncaster race in 1776.

The place served various roles during the world wars — and in between hosted flying circuses.

Old Moor has also been an important coal-producing powerhouse before becoming the RSPB’s first urban reserve on March 30, 2003.

Julian Mayston, visitor experience manager at RSPB Dearne Valley, said: “The conservation movement in Yorkshire started here. Old Moor, and Wath Ings in particular, was the start of that revolution and we’re really, really proud of that.

“It’s easy to get depressed about the environment but Old Moor shows that we can make a difference.”

The exhibition is open at Old Moor until April 14.