Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council - together with partners - have secured £121,000 of support from National Lottery players to help preserve and promote King’s Mill Reservoir for future generations.
Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council worked with Mansfield District Council and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust on bidding for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to enhance the sustainability and experience for visitors to this historic site, whose wildlife features kingfishers and a wildfowl sanctuary.
Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council will also put funding in as part of the £497,000 project to boost the man-made, 72-acre reservoir and public open space.
The site was that of a former medieval mill – alluded to in the Doomsday Book, and is today home to a vibrant natural environment with the reservoir, owned by Ashfield District Council; and a café and the popular Mill Adventure Base, managed by Nottinghamshire County Council.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the detailed plans can be progressed to:
- Connect residents of Ashfield and Mansfield with the 18th century industrial heritage at Kings Mill Reservoir through a new Maun Trail footpath and cycle route between the towns and the reservoir.
- Give a warm welcome to visitors with the development of the existing visitor café into a new visitor centre which will tell the story of the site’s history, boosting information and site access.
- Undertake critical development work on site to de-silt parts of the reservoir, improve access, signage and habitat, improve parking etc.
The development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable Ashfield District Council to complete the necessary site investigations, detailed design and obtain approvals to improve the public open space. A second stage Heritage Lottery Fund bid follows in early 2018.
The project will provide opportunities for residents of Ashfield and Mansfield to engage in volunteering, further details of volunteer opportunities will be publicised early next year.
Ashfield District Councillor and Waste and Environment portfolio holder Councillor Tim Brown commented “Securing this development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund shows the potential in our plans to improve the public open spaces and reconnect local people with local heritage. It is an exciting opportunity to develop our vision and to work with other partners towards these improvements to enhance and secure the diversity of activities”.
Councillor Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This funding represents a massive opportunity to secure an extremely exciting future for King’s Mill Reservoir and surrounding area. It will not only help to preserve the wildlife and heritage of this site, but also enhance the visitor experience.”
Councillor Liz Plant, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Mill Adventure Base will be at the centre of the proposed Maun Trail which gives the opportunity to further increase on its current outdoor and environmental educational offer to families and adult groups alongside its current work with school pupils and young people’s groups.”
Mansfield District Council Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Andrew Tristram, said: “We are very pleased to have received the lottery funding so that the partnership can work together to make improvements to our local area. We hope that by securing this development funding, areas such as Hermitage ponds and the Kings Mill viaduct can be brought up to scratch to add to the overall experience of this area and the Maun Valley Trail.”
Ideas which could be explored by the outdoor and environmental education team at the Mill Adventure base could include Accessible Cycle hire, water-based taster activities such as canoeing for groups and families, and increasing the availability of both the Climbing Wall and artificial caving opportunities, school holiday activity breaks and one-night residential stays.