New heritage project looks for volunteers
THE team behind a new project that aims to be the first step towards preserving some of the north’s most ‘at-risk’ industrial heritage is looking for some truly OREsome volunteers.
The North Pennines AONB Partnership has been awarded a grant of £79,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to assess several old mining sites that have been designated Scheduled Monuments by Historic England and the project is called OREsome North Pennines.
Preserved for the future
This heritage protection status means that the sites should be handed on to future generations in the same state that they were found in, but many sites have suffered weather damage that will eventually lead to the loss of their special features.
With the help of volunteers, the project aims to look at the botany, geology and archaeology of the sites – something which has never been done in unison before.
Sarah Tooze, OREsome North Pennines Project Officer, said: “We want to look at these sites with fresh eyes; to understand their importance not only for their industrial heritage, but also the plants that grow there, and the rocks that gave rise to the lead mining industry.
“Then we can make recommendations of how we can look after these sites to make sure they don’t disappear for good.”
Training and fieldwork
To carry out the surveys on up to eight sites throughout County Durham and Cumbria, Sarah is looking for an army of OREsome volunteers to undertake training and then take part in the fieldwork.
She said: “We welcome volunteers from every walk of life but of course it would be great if anyone with an interest or specialism in any of these three areas wanted to come on board.”
Because of the nature of the surveys, all volunteers will need a level of commitment that will see them taking part in training days, as well as the fieldwork. And they will also get an exclusive opportunity to take part in two archaeological digs at two prehistoric mining sites in the North Pennines.
Released: 01 August 2016