New railings for Crabtree

Monday 7th December 2015

A team of students from Longley Park 6th Form College have been working with us to replace wrought iron railings at Crabtree Pond - their nearest local nature reserve.

The Veolia Environmental Trust awarded £23,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund to Crabtree Ponds Nature Reserve in Burngreave to rebuild fences around the boundary of the site. Crabtree Pond was once at the bottom of the garden of the large house, which has since been demolished, Crabtree Lodge. Visitors to Crabtree Lodge would stroll around the pond after a meal at the house and admire the ornamental Lilies. Today the pond is all that remains in beautiful mature woodland right at the side of Barnsley Road. The pond is always open and visitors can walk around the site at any time.

The money was awarded to us as we manage the site, in order to replace the old railings which have been in situ since the 1930s and were slowly rusting away. The new rails will be higher than the old ones and hopefully will act as a deterrent to fly tippers, which has been an issue on this site.

Art and Design students created designs which incorporate plants and wildlife found on the reserve, and then worked with Campbell Design & Engineering Ltd at their workshop in Doncaster to make moulds and cast their railing designs.

“It’s been great to work with such enthusiastic young people. We’ve got some really excellent designs out of the workshops with them and the finished railings are going to be fantastic.” said Chris Campbell

Joy Gibbs-Price, art teacher from LPSFC said ‘the students have been really motivated by the live project and have spent many additional hours on design work and completing ideas’

Demi-Kay Gurnill, a student, said ‘I have enjoyed having a chance to work in a professional environment’

“Working on a proper real live project has been great” said Matt Baker. “It has been a great opportunity to create a piece of artwork in the community that will be on show for the public for years to come’

The railings will be fitted around the pond between now and Christmas. Please do visit the pond to see the improvements.

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, adds, “We are pleased to be supporting these improvements at Crabtree Ponds. The work will make the reserve a space that local people can enjoy and be proud of. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Rachel Stevenson, Community Wildlife Ranger at the Wildlife Trust said “We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to this project from Longley 6th Form College and Campbells Engineering.

“They’ve created beautiful railings which really improve our pond and enhance the Victorian stone walls and boundary features on site; and - thanks to Veolia - we’ve also given these students some practical, hands-on experience in design and engineering”.