Improvement works well underway at unique Doncaster beauty spot, the Crags
Posted: Tue, 25 Apr 2023 13:10
A number of improvements are being made to one of Doncaster's most unique and scenic green spaces, the Crags.
Alongside improved footpaths, signage, way marking and seating, the history of the Crags is being celebrated, shared, and preserved for generations to come in the form of an audio trail along the site.
Visitors will soon see carved wooden totem poles (like the one pictured) spring up across the Crags, which not only serve as a suggested walking route to enjoy and explore the area, but also bring to life the historical timeline of the crags. QR codes will be presented alongside the totem poles and can be scanned to access free audio recordings about the Crags. Each QR code links to a different story or personal reflection about the Crags and its rich history, told by local people. There will also be interpretation boards written by local people.
The recordings were scripted by the Friends of the Crags, a volunteer group who care for the site, alongside support from City of Doncaster Council. The audio was recorded by local resident Neal Fitzgerald and the totem poles were carved by local volunteers, Tony Guest and Norman Lamb (Shed Heads) and Leon Clemitshaw.
One of the most remarkable stories about the Crags is that mammoth bones were uncovered on the site during excavation work in 1878 when laying water pipes on the Crags. Other well-known legends associated with the area even date back to Roman times, when Copley Avenue was a Roman lookout and a beacon signalling post. Also there was a Stone Railway (1648), taking lime stone from the quarry to the kilns below. These and other sites i.e Bell Pits (1448) have been re discovered by the Friends of the Crags. As well as sharing these local legends, other stories shared are of personal reflections of growing up in the area and what the Crags means to local people.
Civic Mayor, Councillor Ian Pearson (who, as well as being a supporter of the Crags, also provided funding to purchase the timber for the totem poles) said:
"We know that parks and green spaces are really important to people in Doncaster and that being outside and around nature does wonders for people's health and wellbeing.
"We want to make sure that Doncaster's parks and green spaces are welcoming, attractive and provide the best opportunities for residents and communities to enjoy them.
"The Crags is a special place and I welcome the work to improve accessibility of the site and the opportunity to promote its rich heritage. The audio trail is an excellent addition to the Crags and I look forward to its completion in the near future."
Tony Sellars, Chair of Friends of the Crags said:
"We're delighted to see the investments being made at the Crags to help secure its future as a unique and historic place within Doncaster.
"The Friends of the Crags were pleased to share their memories and knowledge of the Crags through their recordings, along with other written local knowledge and we hope that visitors will appreciate them.
"Friends of the Crags was set up four years ago and has been instrumental in keeping the area clean and welcoming. We will continue to work closely with our partners to care for this important green space."
The improvements taking place at the Crags is part of a wider programme of work, led by Get Doncaster Moving, called 'Doncaster Future Parks', which is the name given to the City of Doncaster Council's approach to improve parks and open spaces across Doncaster.
Other Doncaster Future Parks sites include: Campsall Country Park, Hexthorpe Park, Town Field and Edlington Pit Wood. Work is starting to take place across all of these sites to make similar improvements, such as footpaths, signage, way marking, seating and lighting. The improvements being made were identified through extensive engagement with local residents, friends of groups and community groups, who were asked what changes they would like to see happen.
Visiting the Crags
There are a number of entry points to the Crags. One of the main entrances is by Crags Road, Denaby Main (postcode DN12 4EE).
Friends of the Crags
More information about Friends of the Crags can be found at: https://www.thecrags.net/