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Fencing – Ecton Mine, Derbyshire

Find out more about our Fencing Teams’ work on this Site of Special Scientific Interest in Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Before

After

2

Mine Shafts

83 Metres

Of Stocknet Fencing Installed

3500 Years

Of Mining History

Ecton is an important historical mining area near Ashbourne in Derbyshire. Copper and lead deposits have been mined here since the Bronze age with work finally ceasing in 1891. It is estimated that over 100,000 tonnes of ore, mainly copper, was produced at the mine.

The whole area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Ecton Mine itself is an underground SSSI. The mine is also a scheduled monument. Due to its important history the mine is an excellent educational resource and The Ecton Mine Educational Trust was formed to promote education in applied geology, mining and mineral extraction. The Trust is the owner of the mine, mineral rights and study centre thanks to the generosity of the late Mrs Elizabeth Cox with the mining educational study centre being set up by her husband Geoff.

As this site is a SSSI, before any work could be carried out, Ecton Mine Educational Trust had to make an Application for Scheduled Monument Consent to Historic England. Consent was granted as it was important to make sure the mine shafts were safe for members of the public using the footpaths nearby, as well as to stop grazing sheep from falling into shafts.

Once our team got on site it was imperative that they followed the conditions laid out in the granted consent. Part of these conditions stated that ‘works shall re-use the existing post holes, where applicable.” Site operatives were able to mostly use existing holes, however, where this was not possible, new holes had to be dug. This was a difficult task due to the hard rocky ground of the area.

Another condition the team had to follow was to limit their use of equipment and machinery so as not to damage the monument or ground around it. This meant that extra care was taken at all times on site with most of the work being undertaken by hand. It also meant that old straining posts, which were buried at a depth of 1.2meters below ground, had to be removed by hand. The team did this using a high lift jack.

Due to the sites SSSI status the team were unable to use Postcrete so a timber ‘thrust plate’ was screwed to the strainer post below ground to stop the strainer lifting or moving laterally, the hole was then ram backfilled.

Overall, this site was a challenging one due to the rocky ground and undulating terrain as well as the conditions laid out in the Application for Scheduled Monument Consent. The customer was really pleased with the job and commented:

“I have worked with Greenfields before – so my expectations were high – you did not disappoint. Work completed to a high standard and adhered to the site conditions. Excellent work.”

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