Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership Logo in turquoise with a leaf shaped hole

Story of the Dearne

Shaped by the past

To protect and enhance the Dearne for the future we need to be clear about what makes it so special

Heritage and Nature

The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership aims to protect, preserve and enhance the heritage and environment of the Dearne Valley through a range of projects, working with the local communities.

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. Just as the landscape created the opportunity for industry, so industry shaped the area. Coal mining, glassworks, potteries and ironworks have had a huge impact on the landscape and the communities that live in the Dearne. This has been both positive and negative but it remains an area that is still undergoing change. The Dearne Valley is an area though that is ripe for discovery, with a chance for people in the area and visitors outside the area to learn and experience more about it. The DVLP can play a central part in this discovery and help “Reveal the Hidden Dearne”.

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Over the centuries natural habitats have been changed by human intervention. In particular much of the Dearne’s original woodlands have been lost and scrub-grassland habitats cultivated. The Dearne Valley in particular has probably seen the greatest changes from having a natural habitat of a clean-flowing river with oxbows, willow carr, swamp and grazed seasonal flood meadows to a polluted industrial area and now back to a river of reasonable quality supporting otter, eel and brown trout. The wider Dearne Valley landscape has historical links with Romans, Anglo- Saxons, Vikings and the Normans and much of the land was cleared of woodland and farmed with many new hamlets and villages emerging. The period of the Second World War saw the biggest change to the landscape with more land being ploughed and the advancement of opencast and deep coal mining in the area. However, small pockets of natural habitat remained and still do to this day. Recently, there have been man-made changes from industrial land back to semi-natural habitats again throughout the Dearne Valley and the associated wildlife has once again become diverse and abundant. Species groups that make the Dearne Valley their home have been recorded and mapped.

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