The Land of Oak & Iron

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Land of Oak & Iron


Land of Oak & Iron covers a 177 km2 area surrounding the Derwent Valley including Consett, Rowlands Gill, Prudhoe and Whickham. This area has a fascinating industrial heritage of pioneering ironworks, steel furnaces and sword making; a beautiful natural heritage of steeply wooded valleys and a rich cultural heritage of rapper dancing, music and arts.


The Land of Oak & Iron Landscape Partnership secured £3.4m of funding, to enable this area’s unique heritage to be conserved, enhanced and celebrated. We’ve succeeded in breathing new life into the history and heritage of the region for future generations to enjoy.

Together we have achieved:

+ A significant impact on our natural, cultural and industrial heritage. Our environment has been improved through planting a new woodland and creating a wetland. Fish can swim further up the River Derwent thanks to a new fish pass. Woodland owners have been helped to access funding to better manage our ecologically rich ancient, and more recently planted, woodlands.

+ Communities have benefitted by having improved footpaths, opening up 5,000m of historical routes, so people can better explore the area on foot or by bike. The story of our internationally significant heritage is being told through three Heritage Centres, beautiful interpretation around the area, and specially commissioned music and drama performances.

+ Children and young people in the area now have a better understanding of their heritage through our work in 30 schools, and we have helped 320 young people gain a recognised qualification by learning traditional skills. Over 4,000 people have attended our events, experiencing all that the Land of Oak & Iron has to offer.

None of this would have been possible without our team of dedicated volunteers, who have contributed the equivalent of £500,000 worth of time to better manage, and tell the story of, our heritage. We’re excited to see how our volunteers led by the Land of Oak & Iron Trust further develops all that the area has to offer people living locally and those travelling to the area from afar in the future.

The Landscape Partnership is hosted by Groundwork NE & Cumbria and is made up of a wide range of partners, committed to supporting delivery, until it comes to an end in 2020.  The scheme has been supported by National Lottery players through a grant of £2.2 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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