And now the team behind the five-year, £2.4m project have been given a lifeline in the form of a £70,000 grant from Barnsley Museums, which will let them carry on for another year.
Now a two-woman team, the partnership - renamed Discover Dearne - has already got to work, securing £100,000 in funding to develop Worsbrough Mill Country Park.
The money will go towards building up a base of volunteers at the mill, fostering links with local councillors and improving the habitat for endangered bird species that were once rife.
“Our legacy report this year chronicled all the good things we’ve done, and all the things we’ve still got left to do,” said project development manager Liane Holdsworth, who is at the helm of Discover Dearne alongside project officer Claire Farley.
“As with any project like this, you realise there’s a lot more to do.
“Credit must go to the Barnsley Museums team as they took a bit of a leap of faith, but put their money where their mouth is and found more money to fund Claire and myself for a further year.
“It secures our job and keeps the momentum of last year going, which means more groups can find funding.”
Some of the DVLP’s previous achievements include upgrading 3,130 metres of pathways, sowing seeds across 13,750 square metres of new grass road verges, installing 83 signposts, and protecting and restoring four buildings.