NEW nature reserves and two new part-time wardens will be coming to Barnsley after it scooped over £560,000 government funding.

The Dearne Valley Green Heart Partnership - which includes the RSPB, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Garganey Trust and Barnsley Council - will use the cash to pay to reclaim flood plain sites into nature reserves.

It also hopes to win an extra £500,000 from Yorkshire Water Services for wetland management improvement works to Carlton Marsh Local Nature Reserve to reduce the risks of flooding.

The Dearne Valley bid was one of only 12 successful projects across England.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesman, said: "Tourists from all over the region are already flocking to the valley's nature reserves, using the Trans Pennine Trail and are recommending it to their friends. Homebuyers and businesses are choosing to relocate to this once-impoverished setting because they can see the high quality of life on offer."

As part of the project, the council will allocate 25 hectares of 'amenity grassland' each year and reduce the frequency it is mowed from 13 times to once a year.

This will give wildflowers a chance to emerge and seed, as well as allowing wildlife such as field voles, kestrels, barn owls and newts to thrive.