Art exhibition and one-day festival mark the start of four-year “This Exploited Land of Iron” project.
A major four-year project that aims to preserve the legacy and the landscape connected with one of the most important historical periods in the North York Moors gets underway in March, thanks to National Lottery players.
The beginning of a three-week art exhibition at the National Park’s 'Inspired by…' gallery and Ironfest, a one-day festival on March 18 at The Moors National Park Centre, Danby, will mark the start of the £3.8 million project entitled 'This Exploited Land of Iron'. Covering a 77-square mile area of the North York Moors National Park where ironstone mining once flourished, the project has been supported by a grant of £2.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The project will record, protect and conserve the remaining landmarks and features that hark back to Victorian times 150 years ago when ironstone mining and the railways in the North York Moors were making a huge contribution to the industrial revolution. It will also nurture the natural habitats and species that have since found a niche in the landscape, enabling them to flourish for years to come; and establish new ways to display and tell the ironstone story to help visitors visualise and learn more about the area’s fascinating history.
Around 14% of the National Park will be included in the project in a sweeping arc from Goathland in the east, following Stephenson’s original rail route north to Grosmont, before turning west along the Esk Valley to Kildale, and over the Moors south eastwards to Rosedale. Key aspects of the Landscape Partnership Scheme, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, North York Moors National Park Authority, David Ross Foundation and a number of local community and historical society groups, include:
- Creating virtual 3D models to record important remains such as the kilns at Rosedale and the blast furnaces at Grosmont, using similar technology that was used to record Richard lll’s grave in Leicester.
- Improving safety features to enable first-time above ground public access to sites such as Warren Moor mine, the only Victorian ironstone mine chimney left standing in the UK.
- Conservation support to help protect and improve those natural habitats that have reclaimed many of the spaces left by the once-flourishing industry. For instance planting rowan trees to provide berries for the critically endangered migratory bird, the Ring Ouzel, which nests in Rosedale during the summer, and surveying the Fen Bog nature reserve to find out more about how best to protect this special habitat.
- Creating a new permanent exhibition space at The Moors National Park Centre at Danby and new waymarked trails through the Land of Iron.
For more information on the project, the Ironfest launch event on March 18 and the ‘This Exploited Land of Iron’ exhibition please go to www.northyorkmoors/landofiron