Case Study – Green Drive, Burbage Valley
The Burbage Valley already offers a wonderful combination of landscape, historical remains, wildlife and a range of recreational opportunities. These factors, combined with its close proximity to Sheffield, make it one of the most popular moorland areas of the National Park.
However, until 2006 a narrow pedestrian gate and a tatty old field gate wrapped in barbed wire welcomed visitors to this busy moorland gateway. The Green Drive itself had become badly worn by trampling and water damage, making it impassable to visitors with a disability. The gate at the southern end of the valley allowed access for all, but only for a short distance. Two wheelchair users who negotiated the full 2 km ascent of the Drive had to return the way they came due to the inaccessibility of the surface and gate at the northern end. Improving this situation was a priority.
Upper Burbage gate before works
An improvement scheme was therefore designed and funded by a partnership of the National Park Access Team, Sheffield City Council and Moors for the Future. Work was carried out by the in-house Countryside Maintenance Team.
The team undertook appropriate surfacing and drainage provision along the northern 200 metres and southern 800 metres of Green Drive and installed new kissing gates at either end. While the metal kissing gates move away from traditional wooden gates, they provide a robust solution that will prevent motorbike access, yet allow large mobility vehicle owners to pass, through use of the ‘radar key’ system (used for preventing misuse of toilet facilities for disabled people).
The culvert 150 metres south of Upper Burbage has been 'bridged' to provide a continuous smooth surface that allows access to the valley for a wider audience. Seating has been provided and an interpretation panel illustrating the valley’s natural and cultural heritage installed, helping visitors to discover, appreciate and respect this special place. As of 2008, dedicated accessible parking is now available at Burbage South car park. Blue badge holders will require a ‘radar’ key to access the separate parking area and these are available from your local authority.