Exploring the Dearne

This is a series of linked initiatives aimed at encouraging people to walk, cycle and ride horses to explore the Dearne.

The project will focus on a series of physical improvements:

Identifying barriers – Focusing on the physical and perceptual barriers, by surveying routes and sites to identify what is stopping people using sites.

Removing barriers – Focusing on key locations where improvements to paths or connecting gaps will have maximum impact. It will also focus on the introduction of physical improvements at key locations that will have maximum benefit to visitors and users of the area.

The Project

This project will run in parallel with Promoting the Dearne. It must be made as easy as possible for people to be able to find the sites and to be able to get to them easily. If they have been encouraged to visit then they must have a good experience, making them want to visit again.

Identifying Barriers

The DVLP will look to improve access (physical and intellectual) to the heritage and environment within the Dearne. This will be achieved through working with targeted groups (learning difficulties, physical difficulties, deaf groups, and mental health groups). This approach will be embedded into the work of the DVLP with linkages established with sites, attractions, partners and the community. This project has the potential to add to all elements of the DVLP, whilst at the same time benefitting itself by encouraging the participants to be involved in other projects within the programme.

Removing Barriers

This will use both the work of Identifying Barriers and the Green Heart Core Circuit identified within the DVGH Interpretation Strategy. Physical improvement will be carried out on the core circuit walk and at key sites. The priorities identified in the Interpretation Study will be reviewed with the details developed, the costs established and the work needed prioritised. This will be developed in partnership with the public rights of way officers at all three local authorities and the TPT programme team (who are also based within Barnsley Council).Barriers identified can be addressed through this fund. Opportunities to increase greater usage of the area will also be encouraged through physical improvements such as horse mounting blocks, hitching rails, bike racks, seating, picnic tables and other measures to improve access.


Significant work has previously been carried out by the Dearne Valley Green Heart Partnership (with their Interpretation Study - as distinct from the DVLP Interpretation Strategy), the Trans Pennine Trail and the Public Rights of Way Officers within the three local authorities. The Dearne is fortunate in having the Trans Pennine Trail running through its heart, along with and extensive public rights of way network. These are generally to a high standard, are extend across the area, link key sites and are well used. What are required though are site specific measures to identify problems and remove barriers to usage.


All News, Press Releases and Events relating to this Project are listed below

Locations in the Dearne

All locations that are affected by this project are as follows: