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This Exploited Land

This Exploited LandThis Exploited Land

Photographer and writer Ian MacDonald reflects upon the past industries of the North York Moors. The exhibition is a companion piece to a 5-year National Park project – This Exploited Land of Iron: the trailblazing story of ironstone and railways in the North York Moors – which will conserve industrial heritage across Rosedale and the Esk Valley, nurture the natural environment and tell the stories of local communities.

It’s hard to imagine now, but many of the green and pleasant valleys of the North York Moors were once filled with fire, smoke and noise as they helped build the industrial revolution. A short but intense period of ironstone mining and railway construction left a huge impact on the landscape and its communities that can still be seen today.

This Exploited Land of Iron tells the fascinating story of this trailblazing period of industrial growth and exploitation. The project will conserve and protect some of the most iconic structures and landscapes that remain, help nurture the wildlife that has reclaimed these spaces, and ensure this important part of our history is not forgotten.

For events and activities associated with This Exploited Land of Iron, see

Iron Fest – project launch event, Saturday 18 March, 11am – 4pm

The project is a Landscape Partnership scheme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, North York Moors National Park Authority, David Ross Foundation, and other partners. The total project value is £3.8 million and it will run until 2021.

Heritage Lottery LogoThis Exploited Land of Iron LogoDavid Ross Foundation Logo