Local people are being invited to discover the fascinating history of the Crowle Moors at the Crowle Peatland Railway open event this weekend.
At the event, which takes place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 May 2021, visitors will be able to see stunning restored locomotives up close and enjoy a bite to eat at the newly opened café.
The Crowle Peatland Railway is a Heritage Lottery funded project that promotes the history of the area’s peat railways.
Since Medieval times, Crowle was an important centre for peat extraction. Used for fuel and animal bedding, it was exported to London and Paris.
Initially formed in 2015, the Spring open day arrives at an exciting junction for the project.
In 2019 the railway received £107,000 of community grant funding from North Lincolnshire Council to enable the building of the café and other facilities, helping to further enhance the experience for visitors.
This month, volunteers have started laying more than 100 metres of track, extending the railway, which is one of only two working lines remaining in England on a three-gauge track.
The group has exciting plans for the future development of the site. A Portuguese ‘Lisbon tram’, dating to the 1930s, has been purchased and will be restored for visitors to enjoy, using grant funding received from the SSE Local Keadby Wind Farm Fund.
The tram will be modified for use as a passenger vehicle and will be pulled by the Schoma Loco, delivering passengers to the Moors walkways for those wishing to walk in this Site of Special Scientific Interest. Visitors will then be able to return on the train and enjoy well-earned refreshments.
The project aims to connect people with the Crowle Moors, a thriving wetland habitat and the largest area of raised bog wilderness in lowland UK. Nature lovers will find lots to enjoy, including some of the 30 recorded breeding birds.
The unique habitat has been recognised as an internationally important breeding site for the nocturnal, insect-feeding nightjar. It is also the most southerly point in the UK you are likely to see the large heath butterfly.
The Crowle Peatland Railway is open to the public on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 May, from 10am to 4pm.
The trains will be on display outside, with the café serving refreshments outdoors, following Covid guidelines.
To support the restoration of the site, the railway has received funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund, via The Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Partnership and the SSE Local Keadby Wind Farm Fund.
For more information on the support available through community grant schemes, visit the website.
Photograph of locomotives at Crowle Peatland Railway by John Tavender.
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