Massive birds, dragonflies and railway carriages will illuminate RSPB Old Moor nature reserve this March, to tell the story of the Dearne Valley with beautiful lanterns.
Visitors to RSPB Old Moor can expect a journey through time from giant dragonflies and dinosaurs, farming, coal mining to nature recovery, as the RSPB partners again with Handmade Parade, for their WildLights Lantern trail.
On Friday 10 and Saturday 11 March 2023, lit wildlife sculptures created by Handmade Parade artists and lanterns made in the community and local families will create an interactive trail to tell the history of Old Moor and the Dearne Valley landscape as part of the site’s 20th Anniversary this year.
Come and meet giant and beautifully lit puppets: a cute newt, cheeky fox and beautiful kingfisher, get creative to make your own lanterns and artwork and finish the evening with storytelling or a hot chocolate beside the campfires.
The wildlife that now lives at the RSPB Old Moor nature reserve in Barnsley will be joined by giant willow lantern versions, metres across, beautifully lit and placed in the ponds and gardens of the wildlife reserve.
Bringing communities together
Liz Harding, community and volunteer engagement officer at RSPB Old Moor, said:
“Our WildLights Lantern trails are part of Old Moor’s events calendar now. We so look forward to the reserve busy with creativity and community groups in the run up to the events and the fizzing excitement around the reserve after dark as lots of people come to explore our nature reserve is a very different way to normal. Our new team of creative volunteers have been working with Handmade Parade to learn the tricks of making giant wildlife sculptures and puppets and get ideas and inspirations for future events.”
Handmade Parade artists are based in Hebden Bridge and specialises in bringing communities together through artwork, workshops and street parades and event installations. Their team of artists, alongside RSPB staff and volunteers, will be leading workshops and sending craft packs to groups and families in the Dearne Valley to make wildlife scenes and lanterns with willow, tissue paper and a lot of glue. The artwork will feature at WildLights this March and perhaps the next WildLights Lantern Trail in October, as part of activities funded by RSPB Old Moor’s National Lottery Heritage Fund project.
Fran, Handmade Parade project manager, said: “This time WildLights is a bit different as we tell the Dearne Valley’s story. We’ll make a giant train showing the change from coal mining to green spaces, and how Old Moor have gone from farmland to nature reserve. We’re really excited to celebrate Old Moor through colourful artwork and bring it to life for visitors of all ages.”
WildLights Lantern Trail will run 4:30-8pm on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 March. Booking is essential as the events are likely to sell out. Book your tickets online or at RSPB Old Moor reserve. Tickets are £8/10 for adults and £4/5 for 5-18 year olds. Under 5s are free.
Full details of the WildLights Lantern Trail events, family workshops and other events and activities at RSPB Old Moor are available of their website.
WildLights Lantern Trail at RSPB Old Moor
Lit up wildlife sculptures and lanterns made in the community and local families will create a beautiful interactive trail along the paths at RSPB Old Moor nature reserve, Barnsley.
Start off in the prehistoric with giant dragonflies and dinosaur, moving through farming and coal mining to see how the Dearne Valley has changed over time and celebrate the wildlife living here today. WildLights is part of RSPB Dearne Valley’s 20th Anniversary celebrations. Alongside the trail, sculptures and puppets, there will be crafts, fire pits and activities.
Event date and time: Friday 10 and Saturday 11 March 2023, 5-8pm
Cost: £8-£10 adults, £4-£5 5-18 year olds, under 5s free.
Venue: RSPB Old Moor, Old Moor Lane, Wombwell, Bolton upon Dearne, Barnsley, S73 0YF