Barnsley Main Nature Reserve

Barnsley Main Credit Norman Hearne

Barnsley Main Nature Reserve

Barnsley Main is a rolling green, grassland surrounded by a fringe of woodland that was once the black spoil heap of the Oaks Colliery pit head that still stands on Oaks Lane.


Pontefract Road
Near Dearne Valley Country Park
South Yorkshire
S71 1HU
A static map of Barnsley Main Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Entry fee


Parking information

Park at Dearne Valley Country Park or roadside at Oaks Lane.

Walking trails

Well walked footpaths on grass and gravel.


Great access from the Trans Pennine Trail. Well walked routes cross the site . The walking surface is grass or gravel. Please contact us on 01904 659570 for more disabled access information.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

June to September


From the top of Barnsley Main Hill, you get undoubtedly the best panoramic view of Barnsley and the River Dearne corridor anywhere in the Valley. You will be amazed at how green the landscape is!

The Barnsley Main site is immediately accessible from the Trans-Pennine Trail, a multi-user footpath that connects many wildlife sites in the Dearne Valley.

It is a restored grassland that is managed by seasonal cutting for a hay crop. The grassland is surrounded by a fringe of broad leaved plantation and fantastic scrubland!

Willow tits use the Trans-Pennine Trail as a connecting corridor and we are working on providing ponds and standing deadwood that may help the area become a nesting site in the future.

The grassland is good for the commoner butterfly species. The surrounding ditches are also being developed to encourage amphibians.

Seasonal highlights

  • Spring: 
  • Summer: 
  • Autumn: 
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By car
Cars are best parked at Dearne Valley Park Car Park .

Public transport
The fantastic Trans Pennine Trail connects Dearne Valley Country Park into the regional cycling and walking network. Many regular bus services from Barnsley Town Centre stop at the bus stop at the main car park entrance on Pontefract Road. It’s a 15 minute walk from Barnsley railway station.