Churchfield in Denby Dale has been difficult, if not impossible, for families with pushchairs, wheelchair users, and others with mobility issues to access. Although a public footpath runs through the site, the only means of access was by negotiating a stile at either entrance, designed to prevent grazing horses from wandering out of the field. For many years this was the main purpose of the site.
When the Friends of Churchfield group formed, submitted their successful HLF bid, better access was high on the agenda, along with all the other improvements such as tree and hedgerow planting, re cultivation of wildflowers, installation of benches and picnic tables, as well as history and biodiversity information boards.
However, nothing is ever straight forward and this was certainly the case for Churchfield. One of the entrances from Barnsley Road has a steep drop which required the building of a ramp. Whilst lottery money funded the professional element of the paving the ramp was built slowly but surely, and certainly very sturdily by volunteers. Namely Cllr Billy Jewitt (a retired builder) assisted largely by Ryan Barton, one of the friends group, who acted as Billy’s labourer.
A redesign of the ramp following expert advice also meant more expense on sub base. Thankfully we were able to obtain a small grant from Denby Dale Environment Trust to cover this extra spend, and we are grateful to them for this consideration.
On Tuesday 16th May, after many months of blood, sweat, and tears the ramp and new access points were finally completed and opened for use.
Now everyone can enjoy Churchfield and visitors are welcome to come along and view the work we have done.