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Old Meltham railway to be heritage site

A FORMER Meltham railway line is set to be turned in to a heritage walking trail.

A FORMER Meltham railway line is set to be turned in to a heritage walking trail.

Friends of Beaumont Park have received nearly £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to transform the overgrown track and manage the woodland below the park.

The old railway will be cleared of sycamores and rhododendrons which have grown since the line closed in 1965 and leaf mould will be removed to uncover the original track.

Pupils from schools including infants and academies will carry out in-depth research into the history of the track, which will then be placed on information boards along the trail.

Teachers involved in the project will be trained in the Forest Schools scheme, which aims to give youngsters practical skills in countryside and conservation management.

Schools will also get the chance to use open space for interactive play, health, recreation and personal development.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and Humber, Fiona Spiers, said she was delighted to be awarding the group the £49,900 grant.

She said: “People often associate Huddersfield with its renowned mill industry but the town has a wealth of parks and green spaces.

“We are thrilled to be able to support the dedicated Friends of Beaumont Park to research and record the history of the Meltham railway branch line and associated woodland.

“And to involve volunteers and schools in practical woodland management skills, and promote awareness of the natural heritage of the area.”

The old line is already popular in Meltham itself, where it is the Meltham Greenway walk.

Kirklees Council as owners of the site, actively support the project through various departments.

Volunteers for the Friends group aim to work with them and Environmental Alliance to create an attractive open space for all of the community.

Chairman of Friends of Beaumont Park Peter Turner said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage lottery Fund for this Project.

“All local schools, the Friends of Beaumont Park, Environmental Alliance and Kirklees Council will all be involved in this project.

“It is effectively an extension of the area for the benefit of all the local community and will encourage more people to visit this historic park.”

Beaumont Park is Huddersfield’s oldest park and is Grade 2 listed.

It opened in 1883 covering over 20 acres on the south west of the town, it includes woodland walks, cascades, grottos, cliffs and a recently opened band stand closely based on an original demolished many years ago.

The disused railway line runs through woodland on the lower slopes of the park and linked Huddersfield to the town of Meltham three miles away.

It branched from the main Huddersfield to Sheffield line.

HLF has supported 30.000 projects allocating £4.7 billion across the UK, including £364m to 2,279 projects in Yorkshire and the Humber alone.

 

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