Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Wind Turbine on the Cadeby Road Landfill Site

This application was considered by the DMBC Planning Committee this morning.  The case was presented by Eizabeth Maw for DMBC and the argument for was put by Mr Stuart Markham on behalf of the applicant (which I am informed is a Spanish company).  Quite a number of people and organisations had objected and their arguments were put by Cllr Alan Smith representing Sprotborough & Cusworth Parish Council and Cllr Doreen Woodhouse on behalf of nearby residents who have an epileptic daughter.

Suggestions were raised that solar power might have been used instead or, alternatively, that the power generated by the methane gas could have been used to service the need for electricity on the landfill site.  These were countered by Mr Markham who said that the electricity produced went directly into the national grid and that a wind turbine had been considered the best option for the location.  He admitted that no consultations had been thought necessary for such a small scheme and had therefore not been aware of the epilepsy of the neighbour's daughter..

However, yesterday, an objection had been received from Robin Hood Airport on the grounds that:

"the wind turbine would be detected by the airport's radar.  Detection of the turbine by the airport radar would create clutter in the form of twinkling on the radar screen.  This clutter can cause confusion when trying to distinguish between real aircraft and false targets."

Following discussion, the Planning Officer recommended that the application should be approved in principle, but subject to the applicant satisfactorily resolving the objection with Robin Hood Airport.  However, Cllr Jonathan Wood raised a number of questions and proposed that agreement should be deferred until further investigations could be made about the various community objections.  In the absence of a seconder, he then amended his proposal to:

"Refuse the application based on Robin Hood Airport's late objection."

A vote was taken and this was agreed.

Thanks, therefore, seem to be due to Robin Hood Airport as no other argument seemed to hold any weight in the minds of the Members.  It seems likely that the application might be re-submitted at a later date and a close watch will need to be kept on the situation if the communities of Cadeby and Sprotborough are to succeed in their aim of keeping this wind turbine away from the landfill site.

Sunday, 25 November 2012


6.00 pm  The river seems to be going down again at present, so hope things will soon be back to normal. 

Got up this morning to the news that Mick had been up since the early hours, warning canal boat owners that they were likely to find themselves settled on the island if they didn't move soon.  In fact one of them couldn't move and the owner was left high and dry with the fire service and police in attendance.  They were eventually left to their own devices with the expectation that someone would come to see that their immediate needs were met (in fact the Red Cross did arrive later), but after standing around in the cold for some hours, we took them in and gave them coffee to warm them up.  I later took them home to Rotherham as there was nothing to be done until the water goes down.  Hopefully their boat will float off as the water recedes.

In the meantime, we have had to have water pumped out of the lane again (big thank yous to the Environment Agency) so we are left with a muddy mess once more.  Not to worry, at least we are still warm and dry which is more than can be said for some others around the country.


Further to my post under this heading, I would like to warn cyclists in particular about the work that has just been done on this. 

No, the hole hasn't been filled in.  Somebody has put a fence up, which would be ok as a temporary measure except that there's no warning and, if you happen to be riding along and the light's not so good, you might ride right into it and cause yourself some damage.  There isn't even a reflector light on it which might at least give you a sporting chance.

So, take care.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Walks from Warmsworth

A new booklet has been produced describing three walks from Warmsworth which can be downloaded from our website as a pdf document.  

Follow the link:

and look for it under 'Group Leaflet'

Friday, 20 July 2012


I'm sorry it's been so long since I wrote anything, but things have been in disarray for a while and are only just becoming a little clearer.

The Don Gorge Strategic Partnership (DGSP) has now been wound up, and the Don Gorge Community Group (DGCG) has merged with Revival, a new partnership headed up and staffed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT).  The representatives of the statutory agencies involved with DGSP felt this offered a better use of their time as it covers a wider area and many other bodies are involved as well. 

Having had a presentation by Tom Hayek, Conservation Programme Manager for YWT, the instigator of the project, the DGCG felt there was no alternative but to join this group, even though it does not really cover all the aspects of our brief, nor is the name particularly descriptive of what it is or does.

In fact Revival covers the length of the River Don from Sheffield to the Humber and its three main themes are:

·         Biodiversity improvement,
·         Water Framework Directive delivery,
·         Community Engagement through physical and educational access improvement.

It seems, therefore, that the main concern is for the natural environment and community access to it.  The Don Gorge is already wide open for access by many different groups of people and extensively visited so, as ever, our main concern is vehicular access.  We have been put into the last sub-group, but as we are not due to meet until 29 August, we do not know what is really in their minds.

With the loss of the DGSP and our Co-ordinator, Rachael Cranch, who has been moved on into other work, we are now thrown back on our own resources, whilst hoping for and expecting support by representatives of the other Revival agencies as and when required.


Car Parking

We have two possible sites on Nursery Lane in mind as car parks:

·         a small area at the end of The Boat Inn car park and
·         a much larger area opposite the Traveller site. 

The latter site is owned by a group of individuals who have already been contacted and we have been given hope that they might agree to such a use providing appropriate security is maintained.  A small sub-group is being set up to work towards this.  If it is achieved, a walk would be created down through the woodland towards the bottom of Nursery Lane and the river.

This is a very ambitious project for us and, although we hope for a great deal of voluntary input from our Conservation Volunteers, funding will still have to be found.  YWT have already expressed an interest in helping us with this and Natural England will not oppose the woodland walk. 

The outcome, however, will only be a success if visitors are prepared to use it as they do at other similar sites of natural beauty around the country. 

Fish Pass and Small Hydro-Electric Scheme

I'm afraid I have no news about this, but it would appear that things have not gone according to expectations and new plans are being considered.  I will up-date on this as soon as I hear anything definite.

Walks from Warmsworth

We are in the process of drawing up leaflets for three walks from Warmsworth into the Don Gorge.  I will let you know when they are available.

Conservation Volunteers

This loyal group of men and women continue to do sterling work in the Gorge and would welcome others who might like to join them.  They now meet at the Lock House on the island at 10 am on alternate Tuesdays - the next one being 24 July 2012.  Parking is available there.  Strong shoes, lunch and wet-weather gear required (unless Summer suddenly arrives).


Beware if you visit the river at Lower Sprotborough any time soon as the bank has once again collapsed near the landing stage.  More exacting construction work will no doubt have to be done to solve this long-standing problem.  In the meantime, I would advise you to

keep away from the fence and take care.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

The old railway bridge on Nursery Lane

Spring flowers at the Well at Lower Sprotborough


As I write, the canal at Lower Sprotborough is over-flowing its banks into the River Don again.  I think we've just about had enough rain here for now!



I am afraid there is still no news on this.  There was a meeting of the Don Gorge Strategic Partnership on the 9th March 2012, when few representatives turned up and no worthwhile information was forthcoming. 

The only important information to come from the meeting was that the Partnership's Co-ordinator has been pulled from her role by DMBC and moved to another department.

We fear this does not bode well for the Partnership and wonder what will happen next.


It was with some relief that the hairpin bend was reopened earlier than expected and I am sure many will be thankful that their journeys have been shortened as a result.  I was, however, surprised to hear that a number of people have actually telephoned the council to complain that the renovation of the road and footpath has spoiled the countryside feel of the road.  For those who have lived in Sprotborough for many years, I would suggest that such a 'feel' was lost about fifty years ago when all the new houses were built and roads created.  I well remember the Park and Melton Road gaining 'manicured' status in the 1960s when footpaths and kerbs were put in.  With the addition of hundreds of houses, it was inevitable that usage of the river bridges as a route to the A1(M) would increase and so it has.  It is therefore useless to complain that a worn-out road and footpath have been renewed as it is now a main thoroughfare.  Personally, I think they have done an excellent job, creating run-offs for the rain, banking up soil so that car parkers cannot ruin the verges and improving a footpath that was a danger to users.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


To have the bridges over the Don closed for eight weeks is not funny.   Apart from in Doncaster itself, they are the only way over the river and to get to Warmsworth or Edlington is miles and takes an age instead of the a mile or so and ten minutes.  There are three possible alternatives: via Mexborough and Conisbrough; through Doncaster; or north to the Barnsley turn-off of the A1(M) and then south to the Warmsworth turn-off.   

The plan seems to be to re-do the whole of the road, down to base level, inserting kerbstones and replacing the footpath and then re-building the road.  No doubt we'll all be pleased when it's been done, but eight weeks does seem a long time.   I am informed that although eight weeks has been stated, they do hope to complete in six if the weather doesn't hamper them.  This is where they've got to in the first week - inserting kerbstones on the left-hand side going up as far as the bend.  Let's hope the rest moves a bit quicker.




Members of the Don Gorge Community Group committee discussed the possibility of setting up an official Friends group at our meeting this week, but decided against it on the grounds that we lack the man or woman power to manage it.  We know from people we meet that many people are interested in what we are doing and support us, but at the same time it would be nice to know who they are and where they comes from, as well as what they might like to see or not see happen here.

We try to provide information through the Sprotbrough Arrow for those who are not online, but for those who are, why not become a regular FOLLOWER of this Blog?  We would welcome more comments about the blogs, both positive and negative if that is the case.  We would like suggestions, reports of sightings, whatever you feel able to offer.

The Don Gorge is your amenity.  It can be improved or it can be neglected.  Our group of conservation volunteers work hard every other Tuesday to maintain the woodland, the river bank and the surrounding area and we know it is appreciated, but it would be nice to be able to tell them that our Followers think so too.

We currently only have six listed - it would be nice to have 600 or (6000!) all participating in the dialogue about its future.

So, please give it your consideration. 


The snowdrops are lovely at the moment and you don't have to go miles to see them. 
The Well at Lower Sprotborough 


As there have been a few rumours going round about the fish pass, I thought I had better do an up-date.
So far, we have not heard any support for the island plan and therefore hope it will fail.

As far as we are aware, there has been no progress report since my last post.  No planning application has been put in for the island and the application for the access track on the south side, which was put in last May, has not been withdrawn. 

The next meeting of the Don Gorge Strategic Partnership is due to be held on 9 March when it is possible more information will be available.   I will keep you informed of any information that comes to hand.


Do we really want to lose the picnic area between the Falls and the canal?