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Scrap cars and trail bikes mar historic Peak lead mine

This is an archived press release

Monday 17 January 2005

17 January 2005

Scrap cars and trail bikes mar historic Peak lead mine

Conservationists hope to put the brakes on off-road bikers and fly-tippers who are damaging historic lead mine remains at a site near Castleton.

Signs are being put up warning that it is illegal to damage the nationally-important Pindale Scrins, which is being used not only by scramble-bikers but as an unofficial tip for scrap cars, TVs and bedsteads - harming its heritage and rare plants.

In recent weeks, Peak District Mines Historical Society volunteers launched a clean-up of the scrins - narrow open slits up to 12 metres deep where miners excavated ore - on which rare plants such as leadwort and Pyrenean scurvy grass have found a home.

An old Volvo and a Ford Cortina were among the detritus found by the volunteers, along with smashed televisions, a fridge, a sheep-weighing machine, washing machine and bags of domestic rubbish.

The Peak District Lead Rakes Project - run by the National Park Authority, English Heritage and English Nature - provided support, funding a skip for the clean-up, which also included collecting four bin-bags full of lager cans and picnic litter.

The farming tenant and landowner (the Duchy of Lancaster estate) are fully behind the poster campaign to educate people about the historic and ecological importance of Pindale Scrins, which date from the 16th-17th century. The signs explain that it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Scheduled Monument - and also warn that anyone causing damage could be prosecuted, leading to fines or imprisonment.

In addition Peak District National Park rangers are keeping an eye on the site to tell people of its significance.

Peak District Mines Historical Society conservation officer John Barnatt said: "I'm sure in many cases people are not aware of the damage they are doing to the area's precious heritage and ecology.

"We hope the signs will give the information to deter them from riding bikes up and down the waste heaps, destroying rare plants, and from leaving scrap-metal and rubbish, which is an eyesore in such a beautiful area. We'd ask them to contact their local council to find out where they can take it to an official tip - and for picnickers to take their litter home with them."

This is an archived press release

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