Dearne Valley Country Park

Dearne Valley Country Park

Dearne Valley Country Park

This wildlife haven is less than a mile from Barnsley Town Centre and extends for two miles along the River Dearne from Hoyle Mill on the A61 to the Trans-Pennine Trail viaduct at Lundwood. At the centre of the Park is the River Dearne, now so full of life that this is one of the best places to see kingfishers in the Valley at any time of year.


Pontefract Road
South Yorkshire
S71 1HS

OS Map Reference

SE 362066
A static map of Dearne Valley Country Park

Know before you go

80 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Free parking

Walking trails

There is an extensive network of paths to explore the whole area. The fantastic Trans-Pennine Trail connects Dearne Valley Country Park into the regional cycling and walking


Good tarmac paths and range of DDA compliant routes.


On a lead
Some more remote areas are suitable for running free.


Picnic area
Outdoor play area

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Good all year round site


Dearne Valley Country Park brings wildlife into the heart of Barnsley. This spectacular 80 hectare park includes the Cliffe Wood, a Local Wildlife Site, canal and riverside habitats, wet-woodland and grassland. The park is well used for dog walking, the Hoyle Mill angling club fish the beautiful main lake and there is even a skatepark and play area.

Scores of wildfowl cruise the river with the ever busy grey wagtails flitting from shore to shore. There are two main lakes in the Park. The largest lake forms the focal point for the park with many visitors taking the pleasant circular route for a dog walk, a family stroll or cycle ride. There are ample picnic benches in the park if you like to eat al fresco!

Upstream of the fishing lake is the “wildlife lake” that emerges from the wet woodland. One of the few stretches of the Barnsley canal, still in water can be found at the west end of the Park. This is also the place to see kingfishers, there are frogs galore and the odd basking pike to be seen in the summer months. We work with Barnsley council to ensure that the grass is cut to leave a mosaic of different length sward heights for invertebrates to forage, feed and breed.  We have also been removing historic rubbish from the wildlife rich river.

Yorkshire wildlife Trust manage the park in partnership with Barnsley council for the benefit of local people and wildlife.

Seasonal highlights

  • Spring: Plants - Bluebell; Birds - Willow tit; Great spotted woodpecker; Amphibian - Frog and toad colony
  • Summer: Invertebrates - Brown hawker; Birds - Kingfisher; Grey wagtails; Fish - Pike
  • Autumn: Fungi - Scarlet elf cap; Birds - Teal
  • Winter: Birds - Tawny owl; Goldcrest; Treecreeper; Bullfinch


The site of the park was once an industrial waste, criss-crossed with mining infrastructure, roads, hardstanding, spoil heaps and the canals and bridges that served the coal industry.


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 minutes walk from the Barnsley railway station.

By car
From Barnsley Town Centre follow Pontefract Road towards Lundwood. The main car park is on your left a few hundred metres after the Hoyle Mill Inn.