Our ambition is to reconnect people, communities and decision makers back to the River Don and its rich natural, cultural, built and industrial heritage.
We want to change their beliefs and attitudes so that the River Don and its heritage will be better valued as a major asset to South Yorkshire and better protected into the future.
Through our three year programme of capital works and engagement activities we have achieved our four objectives for the LHRD project:
Supporting the return of salmon to the River Don Fish passes have been built on 5 weirs in Sheffield – Brightside, Norfolk Bridge, Lady’s Bridge, Kelham Island and Steelbank, reconnecting 6.5km of the Don and opening up 10km of spawning grounds to migratory fish for the first time in 200 years. Atlantic salmon sightings are now beginning to be reported in previously impassable areas of the river Don.
Inspire and mobilise local communities 1177 pupils have taken part in the River Guardians programme and 50 young people volunteered on riverside youth art projects. Over 300 volunteers have helped to improve and protect the rivers on their doorstep, some of which have gone on to lead their own volunteer days and form the friends of the ‘The Don Valley Way’.
Develop skills for heritage and capacity We have trained two apprentices in Environmental Conservation and 184 volunteers have been trained in heritage skills, including licensed equipment training.
To help foster understanding of heritage and change perceptions about the River Don a long distance trail ‘The Don Valley Way’ from Doncaster to Sheffield was created. Audio trails and information boards encourage those walking the trail to learn about and enjoy the river Don’s heritage. Community discovery events and guided walks and talks improved access to the river.