Artists host half-term activities to raise awareness of the River Dearne

24 October 2017

Dearne Valley artists are set to host a series of activities this half-term to help reconnect communities to the River Dearne. 

The free events are part of a wider project called ‘Art of the Dearne’, delivered by the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP) which works with communities to protect, preserve and enhance the area.

Individuals and families will have the chance to try stone sculpting, create nature sketchbooks, take part in pop-up poetry picnics and join guided nature walks to gather drawings.

Each workshop, taking place at RSPB Old Moor in Barnsley, will inform a series of artworks celebrating the River Dearne by three Dearne Valley artists and an artist partnership. The artists will then work to create their final art pieces, which will be unveiled to the public from January 2018.

Sally Gawthorpe, community officer at the DVLP, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming people from across South Yorkshire to our free art workshops designed to celebrate the fantastic Dearne Valley and the River Dearne at its heart.

“The activities are great for families looking for things to do outdoors this half-term and connect with the surrounding nature and wildlife on our doorstep.”

Poet and songwriter Ray Hearne will be joined by artist Hayley Youell for a new pop-up poetry picnic from 12pm to 2pm on 2 November. People can listen to existing works, learn about the river and be inspired to create their very own short poems for a new contemporary art piece.

Sculptor Daniel Jones will be holding two events in November as he prepares to create a sculptural seat sited alongside the River Dearne. Attendees will have the opportunity to help him create coloured cast glass flames, inspired by the old coking works chimneys that once stood at Manvers. The workshop is open to anyone aged 16 and over and will take place on 2 November from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm.

Daniel will also be hosting a two-hour walking and drawing workshop on 4 November from 10am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 3pm.

Artist Louise Wright will be hosting two family sketchbook sessions on 2 November from 10.30am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 3pm to help create a giant mixed media textile mural. People will have the opportunity to explore the reserve and make some sketches to gather inspiration to create their own nature sketchbook. This event is suitable for families with children aged six and above.

To book your free place on one of the workshops, please call 01226 772414 or email For more information on the Art of the Dearne project and workshops visit

The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership is a five-year scheme, running until June 2019, which focuses on the historic buildings and landscapes of the Dearne Valley. The DVLP is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Follow the ‘Art of the Dearne’ scheme on Twitter using the hashtag #artofthedearne and at @DiscoverDearne.


Notes to editor

Photograph (1): Left to right, artists Hayley Youell, Daniel Jones, Patrick Murphy and Louise Wright

Photograph (2): Louise Wright's art workshop

Media contact: Charlotte Goldthorpe at Capital B Media on 01226 766900 or at

Event details
All workshops below will take place at RSPB Old Moor, Old Moor Lane, Barnsley

• Sculpting the Dearne with Daniel Jones
2nd November, 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 3pm

• Pop-up Poetry Picnic with Ray Hearne & Hayley Youell 
2nd November, 12pm - 2pm 

• Creating Nature Sketchbooks with Louise Wright
2nd November 10.30am - 12pm and 1.30pm - 3pm 

• River Dearne Walking and Drawing Workshop with Daniel Jones
4th November, 12pm - 2pm 

The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership The lead partner of the The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership is Barnsley Council with a partnership that includes Rotherham and Doncaster Councils, the RSPB, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Garganey Trust and Groundwork South Yorkshire. The DVLP is part of Barnsley Museums & Heritage Services and is based at Elsecar Heritage Centre.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Thanks to National Lottery players, we 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. @heritagelottery @HLFYandH


This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit

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