North Lincolnshire Council has agreed to lease Crowle Peatland Railway an area of its land to ensure the project can continue.
In June 2017, planning permission was given for the erection of a Romney hut and 100 metre of track. The Romney hut has been completed and work to install the track is scheduled to start soon.
The Romney hut and proposed 100 metre track is on council land, and the council has agreed to lease this to Crowle Peatland Railway for a nominal fee. The use of the Romney hut and track should achieve the Landscape Partnership’s aim of reconnecting residents with their local landscape and cultural heritage.
The council, working with the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership is helping Crowle Peatland Railway’s plans of restoring two diesel hydraulic locomotives once used in the extraction of peat from Hatfield, Thorne and Crowle Moors, and installing railway track on Crowle Moors become a reality. Funding to help get the Peatland Railway get started has been provided thanks to National Lottery Players.
Returning the locomotives to the moors and creating a physical link to historical peat working is a significant project for the Partnership. Crowle Peatland Railway will help residents and visitors learn and understand the heritage of the peat railways on the moors and Isle of Axholme.
Cllr John Briggs, ward member for Axholme North, said: “We fully support the work Crowle Peatland Railway are doing to highlight the rich heritage of Crowle Moors and its railway. It is an exciting project for the local community and will allow them to learn more about the area they live in.
“Throughout the project, working with the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership we are encouraging residents to get involved in the restoration. We are delighted to be able to support the Railway to ensure the project continues with the next stage being the track being laid.”
Mel Bailey, chairman of the Crowle Peatland Railway said: “We are delighted with the progress that has been made so far our many members and volunteers are looking forward to getting hands on experience in this unique project. It is the only operational three foot gauge industrial railway in Great Britain making it a railway enthusiasts Mecca for this gauge of railway.
“We have already had many visitors from up and down the country and the word is spreading fast. You can check out our website to follow our progress and there are a lot of visitor and volunteering opportunities.”
The Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership was awarded £1.84m by Heritage Lottery Fund, which will allow the partnership to deliver 16 projects worth £3m. Projects will focus on the internationally important landscapes of Crowle, Thorne and Hatfield Moors and will highlight the strong natural and cultural heritage to local people.
The aim of the partnership is to reconnect local people with their landscape and cultural heritage across the historic Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase.
The partnership is made up of the following organisations:
- North Lincolnshire Council
- Natural England
- Crowle Peatland Railway
- Canal and River Trust
- Doncaster Metropolitan Council