Page 12 - Evolve Magazine Spring 2021
P. 12

 Rother Valley Country Park
Prior to Rother Valley being a country park, the land was an open cast coal mine and before being
an open cast coal mine it was pasture-land, a farmhouse, and
a mill.
The farmland was part of the Pithouse Farm estate. The Darcy family lived there and ran the first Mill Building from 1631. The second 18th Century Mill building was transferred to the Dawson Family in 1906, where the main hub of the country park is now.
The farmhouse and mill building
are still in place at the country park today and the cattle shed is now the stables café.
The land was taken over by the British Coal Open-cast Executive for Open-cast Mining between 1976 to 1982. This was followed by one year of restoration work which lead to the opening of Rother Valley Country Park in 1983.
The Open-cast Mining site was always planned to be transformed into a country park with leisure lakes, a nature reserve, walking and events. The campsite area was identified by the Coal Board 40 years before it was developed, to offer views of the Country Park, Sheffield and towards the Peak District.
Between 2002 and 2017 the fields within the country park where the campsite is now, was managed by a local farmer with highland cattle and sheep. The park had its own stock unit (farm) with Highland Cattle and sheep which grazed these fields from the mid 1980’s until the foot and mouth crisis in 2001. There are still grazing animals at the park including highland cows, sheep, goats, llama and donkeys.
Rother Valley Country Park is managed by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has been a Merlin customer since 2015. There was a business need to transfer from the old manual tills to electronic tills which feed information to the management team for real time income, stock levels and analysis of products and services the park offered.
The management team investigated a few different systems and a decision was made to invest in the
locally based Merlin company for the EPOS services at the park. The first phase included the back-office system, tills at the café, watersports, the miniature train station, car park kiosk, cycle centre, petting farm and paid for play area.
Various solutions for ticketing and receipts were installed; specific printed train tickets, wrist bands for watersports and the play area were all part of our first package. Scanners were also used for sales products with bar codes.
The Merlin team provided a package for training staff on the back-office system and how the tills worked and a service level agreement for technical assistance and solutions to any problems.
Phase 2 introduced season tickets. Customers would receive photo ID membership cards with their own individual bar code for scanning. This allowed priority access to car parking and private launches,
The tills poll information to a
central system. For areas of the park without internet connectivity, the tills are portable, which allows us to transport these to the desired locations (we use sewing machine bags to carry and protect the tills in). Then twice a week, the remote tills are polled to the central system

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