7 September 2016
North Lincolnshire Council, working with the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership, is helping the Crowle Peatland Railway Society to realise plans for Crowle and Thorne Moors by providing £10,000 to restore two diesel hydraulic locomotives.
Returning the locomotives to the moors and creating a physical link to historical peat working is a significant project for the Partnership.
Recently the partnership received a £1.84m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Grants together with contributions such as that made by North Lincolnshire Council, will deliver a further 16 projects over the next five years. All the partnership’s projects aim to reconnect local people with their landscape and landscape heritage. For its part, the Crowle Peatland Railways Society is seeking to raise awareness of the heritage and history of the peat railways on the moors.
The locomotives, built by the Schoma Company in Germany during the latter part of the twentieth century, together with a smaller Simplex engine, will be fully restored. Throughout, the society will work with young people in the Isle of Axholme and other parts of the Landscape Partnership area to provide hands on experience and some training in engineering. People joining the society will also be trained to drive the locomotives.
The project will include building a small workshop on land at Crowle moors. This will allow members of the society to work on the locomotives and provide work experience and training opportunities. As a spin-off from the project, the society, working in conjunction with North Lincolnshire Council, hopes to see the development of an information centre for the Peatland Railway at the Crowle moors site.
The moorlands at Crowle and Thorne also form part of a National Nature Reserve, such a centre could therefore, also be used to inform visitors about the natural history (wildlife), and the industrial archaeology of the moors.
Cllr John Briggs, ward member for Axholme North, said:
“It is exciting times for Crowle and Thorne Moors with plans coming into fruition and developments getting underway. The site has great potential and the restoration of the trains will show its true history and heritage.
“The council has been able to invest £10,000 to support this project as it is important that communities can connect with their local landscape and cultural heritage.”
Cllr Julie Reed, ward member for Axholme North, said:
"This is a wonderful opportunity for local people to share their heritage and we ask people to come forward and tell the society if they or their ancestors worked on the Moors. Information boards and memorabilia will then be put on display to explain the industrial journey from hand cutting the peat to the mechanised extraction. Transporting the cut peat around the Moors was the job of the railway and it will be great to get it back up and running to enable visitors to experience the industrial heritage of the Moorland.
"This project is the result of a lot of time and hard work invested by the partners to bring the Moors and railway back to life. The society has received £23,000 from The SSE Keadby Windfarm Community Fund to purchase the Loco shed for reconditioning and repairing the engines. Young people will get the opportunity to work on the restoration project which will give them an insight into engineering work, which will be fantastic hands on experience."
Crowle Peatland Railway Society
The Crowle Peatland Railway Society has been formed to promote the heritage and history of the peat railways on Crowle and Thorne Moors.
To find out more about the society, visit the Peatland website.
The Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership
The main aim of the Landscape Partnership is to inspire people to reconnect with their landscape and cultural heritage, and thereby value and conserve the historic area of the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase for the benefit of future generations.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. For more information visit the HLF website or Twitter: @heritagelottery
HLF’s Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities. Grants range from £100,000 to £3m.
The Humberhead Levels Partnership
The Humberhead Levels Partnership, together with local communities and land managers are improving the Humberhead Levels by restoring and creating wetlands along rivers and wildlife networks in the arable farmed landscape. This benefits wildlife, helps manage flood waters and locks up CO2 (a climate change gas). In turn, this improves the wellbeing of local communities and provides new businesses opportunities.
The partnership consists of Natural England, the Environment Agency, the RSPB, English Heritage, North Lincolnshire Council, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, Yorkshire, Nottingham and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Isle of Axholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board, Ouse and Humber Internal Drainage Board, the Shire Group of Internal Drainage Boards (represented via JBA Consulting).
North Lincolnshire Council
North Lincolnshire Council is a key partner within the Landscape Partnership and will act as the accountable body to the Heritage Lottery Fund on behalf of the scheme as a whole. It provides financial and in kind support, as well as leading on several of the projects which lie within the Isle of Axholme.