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National Park unveils new visitor experience at Danby thanks to National Lottery Players

Land of Iron Hologram InteractiveLand of Iron Hologram Interactive

15 July 2019

The North York Moors National Park is officially opening a new visitor experience at Danby on Sunday 21 July coinciding with the one-day family event, Escape to the Moors, to mark the start of the summer holiday.  

The major revamp at The Moors National Park Centre forms part of the £4 million Land of Iron project which thanks to players of the National Lottery is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to showcase how the National Park’s remarkable landscape has been shaped over time by nature, climate, industry and people.

Across six rooms and spaces, the fully interactive experience has been designed to appeal to visitors of all ages, leading them through the various natural habitats that exist within the National Park.

A specially commissioned film highlights the glories of the North York Moors, while children can search for hidden characters in a vibrant, graphic ‘timeline’. Families can investigate life in a rock pool, discover what lives in a dry stone wall and operate a live-action feed from the Centre’s nest-cam.

Visitors are also presented with the fun challenge of creating connectivity chains that help illustrate the intricate relationships between wildlife, nature and landscape in the National Park’s moorland, forests, farmland, rivers and coast.

The Victorian ironstone mining period is given special prominence, reflecting the importance of this trailblazing industry when it sat at the heart of the Industrial Revolution and left indelible marks on the landscape at spots like Rosedale and Grosmont.

As visitors walk through a re-created mine entrance, a dramatic animation of ironstone miners and kiln-workers  brings the period to life – complete with scurrying mine rats, underground explosions and red-hot blast furnaces.

Amazing archive photographs show the real people behind the stories, while  interactive 3D holograms of iconic structures - such as the Bank Top kilns at Rosedale and Warren Moor Mine – invite visitors to explore the National Park’s ‘Land of Iron’.

Meanwhile, the first floor revamp has created a hands-on play area called ‘Mighty Movers’, centred on marble runs and digital displays that investigate the mechanics of moving ironstone around the moors. Here, young explorers can lift ironstone carts up from deep mines, send wagons careering around the moorland railway and negotiate the tricky descent of Ingleby Incline without crashing.

The visitor experience also complements new interpretation features that are being installed across the National Park to tell the story of the Land of Iron. These include impressive cast-iron models of mine and ironworks sites, cut-out metal silhouettes to enhance certain historic locations and a full suite of information boards in Rosedale and the Esk Valley, including along The Rail Trail between Goathland and Grosmont.

Tom Mutton, the Land of Iron programme manager explains: “The new visitor experience has been designed to act as a stepping stone for visitors before they explore the National Park by helping them piece together how past events, the natural world and land management have led to the views they will be seeing.”

David Renwick, National Lottery Heritage Fund Area Director North, said: “Over the past two years, the Land of Iron project has brought together a host of partners across the Park to reconnect people with the beautiful landscape and fascinating stories that make the North York Moors a vibrant place. We are delighted that thanks to National Lottery players the Moors National Park Centre will provide a focus for visitors and local communities to discover the important landscape that surrounds them.”

The four-year Land of Iron project is a Landscape Partnership scheme, supported by the North York Moors National Park Authority, David Ross Foundation and other partners together with a £2.8 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project began in spring 2017 to record, protect and conserve the remaining landmarks and features relating to the ironstone mining period across a 77-mile swathe of the National Park.  Significant parts of the project are also dedicated to nurturing the natural habitats and species that have since found a niche in the landscape; and introducing a range of interpretation features to help tell the ironstone story.

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Notes to editors:

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, leadand resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund  

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The North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952 it became Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres), the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 7.9 million visitors a year.

The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.

To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, visit

For further information and images please contact Amanda Brown at A2BPR on:

T: 01423 740048
M: 07876 452580

Or Nina Beadle, Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority:
T: 01439 772700