DEMOLITION work on a 17th century stone wall in Monk Bretton Park was halted after volunteers stepped in.

Members of the ‘friends group’ at the Yorkshire in Bloom platinum award-winning park were angry after the demolition work got underway without warning early yesterday (Thursday).

The volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain and develop the Lamb Lane park had previously noticed a crack in the wall but had drawn up their own plans to repair it ahead of the park’s centenary celebrations next year.

June Rolfe, chair of the group, told the Chronicle: “This wall was built around 1673 and has survived the test of time.

“The Friends of Monk Bretton Park have expressed our concerns right from the very beginning - we were the ones who discovered the crack and reported it.

“Our volunteers have been working so hard to make these borders beautiful.

“On Tuesday morning, one of our volunteers was actually going along that border individually removing every dandelion and weed. She was there for a couple of hours and now it’s all destroyed.

“Last year, at Yorkshire in Bloom, we got a platinum award after years of winning gold awards judging for this year will be sometime in July and this is still going to be an absolute mess.

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“There’s only about a dozen of us and we’ve tried very, very hard over the years to make this park a pleasant place for the community.

“Now we’ve been completely disregarded - if it wasn’t for community groups like ours, no parks would exist.

“I could burst into tears when I look at what’s being done here.”

Coun Steve Green and independent candidate for the ward Rachel Stewart visited the park yesterday to talk to the volunteer group and see what could be done.

Rachel added: “If this wall was in Cawthorne it would not be getting demolished.

“There has been so much money spent doing up Cannon Hall and things like that, but then when it comes to smaller areas around Barnsley, such as Monk Bretton, we’re left behind.

“Carlton has a conservation site, why doesn’t Monk Bretton?”