Dearne Valley Conservation

Dearne Valley Conservation

Heavy industry and coal mining has left the Dearne Valley of South Yorkshire heavily scarred. However, the people that live here have the enthusiasm and want to work together to transform their local environment. They want to generate new jobs and to create a great naturally beautiful place to live and work.  Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is working as part of The Dearne Valley Green Heart Partnership (DVGH) to restore this thriving community into a paradise for nature.

The Dearne was one of only 12 Nature Improvement Areas designated by Defra in 2012. Since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength and the Dearne Valley is becoming known for its rare and unique wildlife that is attracted to the area because of the improving natural environment in the landscape that was once covered in industry. The Dearne Valley is becoming a destination for those wanting to follow the best practice examples of regeneration of former industrial land.

The partnership includes Local Authorities of Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham as well as Environment Agency, Natural England, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Garganey Trust.

Key aims

  • Enhance and bring wildlife back to the valley, including breeding birds, plantlife, butterflies and insects
  • Create a sustaniable Natural Flood management scheme for the river Dearne and its tributaries
  • Create a better living environment for local people
  • Re-connect the local population with the local wildspaces, giving opportunities for volunteering, creating jobs and improving health

What we are doing

  • Restoring habitats on reclaimed colliery sites, managing lowland heath, creating specialised habitats
  • Cleaning up and maintaining local greenspace for the benefit of local communities
  • Creating wetland habitats that add to flood resilience and create homes for wildlife
  • Creating hundreds of volunteering opportunities, which are improving the local environment and enriching the lives of local people
  • Working with Yorkshire Water to transform significant areas of some of their operational sites into wildlife havens
  • Working with partners on the Back From The Brink Willow Tit project from 2017 to 2021 funded by Herritage Lottery Fund and Veolia

How you can help

You can join our enthusiastic and friendly volunteers by contacting Pete Wall on 07899 676597 or email


BMBC, HLF, Veolia, Defra Countryside Stewardship, Yorkshire Water, Environment Agency, Don Catchment Rivers Trust