The trail - linking Sutton in Ashfield to Mansfield - will bring to life two centuries of history. It will run alongside Nottinghamshire’s River Maun, where watermills were sited both before and during the Industrial Revolution.
Restoring natural heritage
The three-year project includes crucial de-silting work to remove the build-up of sedimentation which is threatening wildlife and reduced water-based sporting activities at Kings Mill Reservoir.
The creation of small islands and reed beds will improve habitats for wildlife including water voles. It will also reduce the occurrence of a type of algae that creates a public health risk.
[quote=Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council] "We know that our residents can’t wait to see the improvements take shape.”[/quote]
Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding as we hope the project will be a turning point in Ashfield’s visitor economy, as well as benefitting wildlife and activity participation.
"The consultation period saw incredible support for the project. By working with community groups from across the district and beyond, we know that our residents can’t wait to see the improvements take shape.”
Encouraging activities along the trail
The existing visitor centre at the reservoir will be upgraded to provide a heritage hub. A community outreach ranger will be employed to encourage activities along the riverside trail, targeting especially people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.
In addition to new waymarks and information boards along the heritage trail, restoration and repair work will be carried out to the Grade II listed King’s Mill viaduct – the earliest multi-span railway bridge in England - and the former Dobson’s Mill building.
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “This project has been made possible by National Lottery players. It will protect wildlife, create a riverside trail through the area’s rich industrial history and encourage local people to learn more about the area. By following the trail they will also improve their health and wellbeing.”