New woodland to be created in Yorkshire to offset huge Hermes site being built

Barnsley Council has announced plans to plant new woodlands, hedgerows, shrubs, and wildflowers at Hoyland Common, in a bid to “recover and enhance” a huge Hermes site being built nearby.

A woodland is being created to offset a huge Hermes site being built

The controversial Hoyland Masterplans were met with fierce opposition when they were approved throughout 2019-20.

Three masterplans for Hoyland south, west and north are already transforming the face of the area – providing housing, employment sites and the relocation of Rockingham Sports facility to land at Parkside.

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A 363,000sq ft Hermes hub, the largest of its kind in Europe, is currently being built off Sheffield Road in Hoyland, leading to complaints from residents about the loss of green space.

However, Barnsley Council has unveiled details of how this will be mitigated – with a ten percent net gain of biodiversity.

Seven acres of land off-site is earmarked for “habitat creation”, which will be monitored for a period of thirty-three years.

On site, a “network of green corridors” is planned around the commercial development plots, and plans are in place to plant native woodland, thicket and hedgerow planting and native species grassland, as well the provision of bat and bird boxes.

Two off site areas will make up the rest of the biodiversity gain – at the southern site boundary and Bell Ground Wood; and the other south-east of Darfield between the River Dearne and existing woodland around the disused railway corridor.

Councillor Robert Frost, Barnsley Council’s cabinet support member for place (regeneration and culture), said: “The sites in the Hoyland Masterplan required major redevelopment to support jobs creation in the area, and we know this has an impact on the landscape during the first phases.

“In terms of replanting, this is a huge investment with hundreds of trees, hedgerows and wildflowers included.

“This was a key focus of the masterplan framework – making sure we could work with developers to provide woodlands and landscapes that would be re-established and thrive in the future.

“We know this is a long-term process, and plans will be carefully monitored, working with experts to create and support biodiversity across all sites.”