North York Moors

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The projects

Bank Top KilnsBank Top Kilns

Nearly 100 individual projects make up the This Exploited Land of Iron programme, including everything from the careful conservation of calcining kilns at Rosedale to the removal of barriers to fish migration on the River Esk. Details of some of these projects can be found below.


Rosedale, Big Sky Over East Mines, by Paddy Chambers

The beautiful valley of Rosedale is a great place to explore the Land of Iron. 

Within a landscape of breath-taking panoramic views the whole story of ironstone mining can be found, from extracting the stone from the hillside, to processing it in huge roasting kilns, and transporting the ore for miles across the moors.

Projects in Rosedale include Bank Top kilns, East kilns, Sheriff's Pit, Rosedale Railway, Reeking Gill, ring ouzels, hay meadows and wild daffodils.

Esk Valley

Rail Trail riverScattered throughout the Esk Valley are a myriad of mining and industrial heritage features, although most are hidden from view beneath trees and nature that has reclaimed these spaces since the industry left. Exploring this charming area can be great fun using the Rail Trail, North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Esk Valley Railway. You may even be lucky enough to see salmon and trout leaping up the River Esk to their spawning grounds.

Projects in the Esk Valley include Grosmont Ironworks, Esk Valley Mine, Beck Hole Ironworks, the Rail Trail and Goathland incline, fish passages, woodland restoration and the conservation of water voles.

Cleveland Hills

Snowy Ingleby InclineThe Cleveland Hills themselves have a rich ironstone heritage but for this project they mark the point where transport networks converged at Battersby Junction and the ironstone from Rosedale left the moors and dropped down into Cleveland via Ingleby Incline. This part of the Land of Iron also contains the ill-fated Warren Moor Mine, hosting the only remaining example of an ironstone mine chimney still standing.

Projects in the Cleveland Hills area include Warren Moor Mine, Ingleby Incline and mine water discharge mitigation.

Habitat Connectivity

Barn Owl chicks at Grange Head, 2016 c Bryan Nellist

The North York Moors contain a myriad of special wildlife sites of local, national and international importance. As in many parts of the UK, wildlife friendly sites are becoming increasingly fragmented, leading to greater fragility of the wildlife populations that survive within them.

The 3 largest Land of Iron biodiversity projects are focussed on improving habitat connections within the Rosedale, Esk and Murk Esk valleys, working with land managers to create and maintain stable, resilient and diverse habitats, leading to benefits for both biodiversity and the local communities.

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