About the DVLP

Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership's (DVLP) aims were to protect, preserve & enhance the heritage & environment of the Dearne Valley area of South Yorkshire

The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP) was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of its national landscape partnerships programme. It ran from June 2014 to June 2019 covering the Dearne Valley area of South Yorkshire, including parts of the boroughs of Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham. The Dearne Valley is rich in industrial heritage, valuable biodiversity, beautiful landscapes and strong communities. The landscape, geology and geography mean it has been at the heart of industrial development over thousands of years. Coal mining, glassworks, potteries and ironworks have had a huge impact on the landscape and the communities that live in the Dearne.

The DVLP worked with local groups restoring and protecting listed buildings and key environmental sites. The impact and importance of industry on the landscape were highlighted through a range of surveys and community projects. Grants were provided to support local community groups in helping deliver the aims and objectives of the DVLP. Projects were supported across the area with an emphasis on developing sustainable skills and activities so that the DVLP would have an impact beyond its lifetime. What became clear to all involved was that the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership was an exciting and innovative project for the Dearne Valley.

Developmentof the DVLP

The DVLP was managed by the Museums and Heritage Service of Barnsley Council. The Council were the lead partner in a broad partnership that included Rotherham Council and Doncaster Council, RSPB Old Moor, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Garganey Trust and others. It’s aim was to protect preserve and enhance the heritage and landscapes of the Dearne Valley and it built on over 10 years of work by this wide range of partners.

A Stage 1 application was submitted in February 2012 and the partnership were informed in July 2012 that their application, despite stiff competition had been successful and was awarded a Stage 1 pass. This meant that £89,500 was set aside by HLF for the scheme in order to develop a full Stage 2 application. Whilst this did not guarantee funding, it was an indication of positive support.

A development officer was appointed in April 2013 with the responsibility of working with the partners, organisations and individuals in the Dearne to develop a Stage 2 application and detailed action plan – the Landscape Conservation Action Plan (LCAP). This was submitted in January 2014 with a detailed evaluation carried out by the HLF before a decision was made in June 2014. The DVLP was awarded funding from the HLF of £1.8 million, towards a total programme of £2.4 million. The funding ran from July 2014 to June 2019 and once permission to start was granted by the HLF in September 2014 this meant that the rest of the programme management team could be appointed and the delivery of the DVLP could begin.

Revealing The Hidden Dearne

There can be few areas of the UK where industry has shaped the landscape more than the Dearne Valley. The DVLP’s aim was to reconnect people with the wealth of industrial heritage, unique landscapes, significant environmental features, leisure opportunities and economic potential within the Dearne Valley. It raised awareness of the area’s significance, allowing local communities to become actively involved in shaping it, increase their understanding of what makes it so special and encouraged more people to benefit from the Dearne’s built and natural assets.

The Dearne Valley has been at the heart of the industrial development for thousands of years, this has had a positive and negative impact on the surrounding landscapes and communities that live within the Dearne. It is an area of great contrasts and great potential. The DVLP’s aims were to “Reveal the Hidden Dearne” – with its wealth of heritage and environmental features – to more people.

Full details of the DVLP project can be found HERE

About Landscape Partnerships

Landscape partnerships were a national programme funded by the HLF. Since 2004 £146 million of funding was invested in 86 schemes nationwide. Landscapes are an important part of our past and play an important part in our lives today. That’s why the HLF wanted to help conserve them and get more people involved in understanding and looking after them for the long term.

Landscape Partnership schemes put heritage conservation at the heart of regeneration – both rural and the areas between rural and urban. Local, regional and national organisations worked together to make a real difference to landscapes and communities for the long term. They did this by conserving habitats at landscape-scale, promoting joined-up management, reviving long-lost skills, and much more. HLF funded projects made a major contribution to work in the UK on implementing the European Landscape Convention.

You can find out more about landscape partnerships from the HLF website HERE