Projects in Ulley Country Park

The Friends Group is committed to working in partnership with RMBC Green Spaces to enhance and maintain the facilities within the Park. The financial constraints, suffered by the Park Manager on budgets available for maintenance and works in the Park, mean it has become increasingly important for the Friends to provide assistance if the amenities are to be maintained and improved.

We aim to continue raising money through the Café Days and other special events but will also be proactive in applying for grants from appropriate funding organisations both locally and at national level.  Over the years we have been successful in obtaining funding for several projects within the Park but have also undertaken work using our own finances when this has been necessary.

The Friends are committed to funding special events at Café Days to encourage more visitors to the Park, and continue to enhance the environment of the Park through bulb planting and supply of birdseed to the feeding stations.

The total amount of expenditure by the Friends on projects in the Park is £112,640 up to November 2023, of which over £77,000 has been funded by grants acquired by the Friends.

Thanks are due to all the organisations and individuals who have supported the Friends and the Rangers at RMBC over the years by providing funding or voluntary assistance to carry out the vital and worthwhile projects listed below.

  • Provision of picnic benches funded by the Friends and constructed locally by Heeley Development Trust
  • Erection of several Interpretive Information Boards around the Park has been funded from South Yorkshire Community Foundation, Big Lottery Awards for All and BiffaAward. Works done on the boards and plinths was completed by Signs Express and Lightmain Engineering and the Green Spaces team.
  • Refurbishment of the Environmental Centre in the old Mess Hut was carried out by the Friends, through a grant from the Big Lottery Awards for All, and is run by the Rangers for pond dipping and other educational activities.
  • Leadership Grants from Councillor John Swift have provided stationary and assisted with running costs
  • A Leadership Grant from Councillors Gilding, Mannion and Middleton assisted with upgrading the kitchen facilities to achieve a maximum Food Hygiene Rating from Environmental Health.
  • The walkers shelter and booting area at the Visitors Centre was constructed by Green Spaces and Simon with funding from the Friends and Community First.
  • Landscaping and shrub planting  outside the Visitors Centre has been provided by Guilthwaite Nursery
  • A  Leadership Grant from Councillors Mannion, Gilding and Middleton provided new tables and chairs in the Visitors Centre.
  • New curtains in the Visitors Centre have been provided through a grant from Community First
  • Refurbishment of the toilets in the Visitors Centre was carried out by Wilmott Dixon with materials provided by Travis Perkins Ltd.
  • The Friends have bought new tablecloths used for Café Days in the Visitors Centre
  • Construction of paths and steps into the new Picnic Area in the former spillway area was funded by the Friends with work carried out by Groundwork Cresswell.
  • Provision of litter bins and dog waste bins.
  • A Community Games grant supported Countryside Day in June 2014
  • Publication of the Ulley Trail leaflet, written by Russell Howes, was assisted by funding from South Yorkshire Community Foundation
  • Publication of “the Story of Ulley Country Park” the book written by Russell Howes, was supported by the Rural Target Fund.
  • Metal maps of Ulley Country Park have been funded by the Friends group with a donation from Ian Wild at the Robin Hood pub in Aughton.  The artwork for the maps was created by Steve Shaw at the Design Team at Rotherham MBC.
  • Painting of the frontage of the Visitors Centre and the provision of new white fascia boards was carried out by Groundwork Cresswell and funded by the Friends.
  • The Friends have purchased several sets of binoculars for use by nature groups in the Park
  • RotherFed provided a grant towards rebuilding the stone wall at the bird feeding station in the car park.
  • A notice board at the Ulley Holt entrance to the Park was provided through a grant from the Banks Community Fund.
  • The Friends provide bird seed on a regular basis for the various bird feeding stations in the Park.
  • Bulb planting has been undertaken in the Park by the Friends with support from Burley Garden Centre.
  • The storeroom in the Visitor Centre kitchen has been refurbished, through a Leadership Grant from Councillor Chris Middleton, to provide a food preparation area complying with Food Hygiene standards.
  • The Friends made a £200 contribution towards the purchase of a new mower for the Park Rangers to use.
  • Repairs to the boundary stone wall alongside the path on the Morthen Arm of the reservoir were completed by Groundwork Cresswell through a grant from the Banks Community Fund.
  • The Friends funded repairs to the boundary stone wall at Ulley Holt.
  • A seating area on the Morthen Arm has been created, with help from Rotherham Metro Ramblers incorporating benches partly funded from the Banks Community Fund, together with a stone bird table, in recognition of the long service given to the Friends by Barbara Littlewood.
  • A litter bin was provided near this seating area through a Leadership Grant from Councillor John Swift.
  • Refurbishment of the two bird hides with a Leadership Grant from Councillor Chris Middleton
  • Provision of wrought iron gates to improve security at the entrance to the Visitors Centre was funded by the Friends.
  • The Ulley Trail leaflet was updated and reprinted.
  • Two rustic benches incorporating animal sculptures were installed on the reservoir embankment and partly funded from the Banks Community Fund
  • Funding from Rotherham Naturalists Society provided a picture hanging system in the Visitors Centre
  • The Spillway outdoor performance area was created with a grant from Rother Valley West Area Assembly.
  • Two concrete planters were installed at the Park entrance with funding from Councillors Allcock, Brookes and Walsh.
  • A defibrillator was funded by the Friends and installed at the Visitors Centre in a cabinet provided by the Start a Heart 24/7 charity.
  • The Friends purchased two large gazebos to provide shelter on the balcony at café days.
  • Three new picnic tables were installed on the balcony.
  • A litter bin was provided in The Spillway performance area
  • A Wildlife Trail incorporating metal plaques for crayon rubbings was established round the Park with a grant from Councillors Allcock, Brookes and Walsh
  • New benches in the Spillway and an animal sculpture bench were installed with a grant from South Yorkshire Community Foundation.
  • The Spillway Mosaic project was completed with funding from Awards for All, RMBC, USC and the Parish Councils.
  • Two large gazebos were purchased by the Friends for events in the Park
  • Two banners giving the Friends contact details were erected in the Park
  • Events at Café Days during 2018 were partly funded by Sanctuary Housing

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