SOUTH YORKSHIRE FOREST PARTNERSHIP
THE STEEL VALLEY PROJECT
Wharncliffe and Upper Don - Stone to Steel
Heritage interpretation project of ten thousand years of human history
The project focuses on the landscape around the Wharncliffe and Upper Don area, including Stocksbridge, Bradfield Oughtibridge and Grenoside. This locality contains, more than any other in South Yorkshire, historic evidence spanning ten thousand years of human history, from ‘Stone to Steel’. Some features and places have already been interpreted but would gain immeasurably from being included in a larger project, while for others the material for their interpretation is known to exist.
A number of historic themes based around significant localities or, ‘Discovery Fields’, have been selected for interpretation. The project will develop and promote a network of heritage trails within these localities which will aim to make this hidden landscape accessible to the widest possible community, both around Stocksbridge and from the wider area of Sheffield and Barnsley.
Working with the local community the project will bring this rich landscape and its history to life through events and interpretive material, using a variety of media including artwork and the web. In this way the project will foster local pride, open the area up to a wider public and develop sustainable tourism, helping to take pressure off the neighbouring Peak District.
PHASING AND FUNDING
The project is being led by the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership and the Steel Valley Project. The Heritage Lottery Fund, has awarded the project £470,000 extending over five years. The whole project is valued at around £1million and additional support has been secured from European funds including Objective 1, Defra and Sheffield City Council. Funding will cover the costs of establishing and maintaining the trails and associated works and events, promotion, publicity, survey and monitoring, project management and implementation, including supervision of contracts and trainees engaged in implementing the project.
Steel Valley Project Manager Matthew North will work with the Heritage Project Officer Becky Hughes and Environmental Project Officer Simon Hill, to deliver the project in the Upper Don area. The team will work with a wider partnership which includes Sheffield Council, Corus Engineering Steels, Stocksbridge and Bradfield, and other local Parish councils and local groups.
The project will involve local people in researching local history and folklore. Information will be published in the form of leaflets guides and on a dedicated website. A series of waymarked trails which focus on the areas of historic interest will be developed and promoted to all sectors of the community, including people with special needs, schools and people who do not currently access the countryside. Additional promotion and information in the form of guided walks, interpreted viewpoints, special events, celebrations, artworks and exhibitions will be developed as appropriate. Published materials will be aimed both at the general public and special interest groups. The emphasis will be on involving a significant proportion of the local community in the project and drawing in people who do not normally access the countryside. At the same time, the project will guard against ‘over interpretation’; on-site interpretation panels will be carefully sited and designed so as not to intrude upon a landscape which is largely unspoilt. The project will also make use of a website to make information widely available and to enable people to contribute information and local knowledge to the project.
More information will follow shortly.
Ellie Collier - Heritage Project Officer
Responsible for the management of the Heritage Trails project, Heritage Festival and monthly events programme.
Stone to Steel
The preliminary project