Louise Cooke – This Exploited Land Heritage Officer
We’ve had excellent news from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – we’ve got the funding for This Exploited Land (TEL).
This Exploited Land: the trailblazing story of ironstone and railways in the North York Moors Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to understand, protect and enhance the landscape and its legacy of ironstone exploitation.
We will tell the story of ironstone mining and the associated railways in the North York Moors during the hundred years between 1830 and 1930. It is an exciting and little known story of discovery and industrialisation in a landscape which what is now designated as a National Park. For most visitors, and even for some residents, the extent of the ironstone industry in the 19th century is a surprise. The scale, the extent and the influence it came to have on the development of the North East of England as a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution at the height of the Victorian Period is poorly understood and the story has never been properly told.
TEL will conserve, protect, record and present a range of important industrial archaeological sites within a distinctive landscape. It will strengthen natural habitats within that landscape: restoring ancient woodland, managing hay meadows and enhancing riparian corridors; and assist rare and threatened species such as ring ouzels and water voles.
- Historic Environment;
- Natural Environment;
- Interpretation, Access and Engagement;
as well as cross-cutting elements which include community grants, a volunteer programme, training and education. The breadth of the Programme hopefully provides something for everybody and is structured in such a way that over the next 5 years and beyond we hope more people can get involved and share our passion for the landscape and the stories that lie at its heart.
Which of the 46 individual projects to be delivered over the next 5 years am I currently most excited about?
After the very long period of project development, it is the very first one – the works to repair the landslip at Rosedale East and to unblock the railway culvert at Reeking Gill.
These are essential works to (1) enable access along the Rosedale Railway to be maintained (and in subsequent years of the project allow access for conservation works) and (2) to ensure the survival of the manmade embankments along the route of the Rosedale Railway – and to retain this important feature of the landscape intact.
Thanks very much to everyone involved so far who have got us to where we are today.
Stay posted – this Blog is going to be an important means of sharing stories and pictures as TEL picks up steam.