Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England




Balancing the needs of the local economy, industry and the landscape is a tricky business

Cement works 2

Here rising out of the early morning mist is Hope Valley Cement works

Cement works 1

There just aren’t enough sheep farms, tea shops or bed and breakfast businesses to hold the rural economy together. The harvest of limestone from the landscape is a contentious issue (the scale of it’s extraction and its transportation being the hottest debate.) Quarrying and mining has been an important source of employment in this area for centuries (lead and fluorspar were mined here back in the 16th and 17th centuries and then there is the local Blue John stone, but that is probably a post in it’s own right.) This valley attracts hundreds  of school parties each year, the area hums with kids armed with clip boards, squashed sandwiches and questionnaires, all on ‘field trips’ gathering data  for their school  projects.

So off you go, 800 words, to be on my desk by the first day of the summer term. ‘What are the problems caused by industry in the Peak District and how are they being addressed’

Cement Works

And if you cite this blog, please reference correctly.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

17 thoughts on “Industry

  1. Who needs Tintern Abbey when you have a cement factory (and some mist) like that? Forget 800 words, let’s have a sonnet!

  2. This resonates for me, as my beloved part of the world is also beautiful, remote, and longing for ways to make a decent living . . . People think these decisions are black and white, but they mostly rise out of the mist in shades of gray, armed only with squashed sandwiches and earnest expressions. Thank you for giving expression to just that. The last photo . . . just thank you.

  3. Your photographs made this cement factory look very elegant and almost as if it fit in with the hills around it. This is always a challenge, keeping the world moving along in the way that we have become used to.

  4. That Anglia Ruskin website is possibly the most useful thesis writing tool in existence…

  5. There’s something quite, well, I am not sure of the words. Serene and yet alive, in those piccies.

    It’s really amazing what industry does to our landscape. Much of the North York Moors have been seriously ‘landscaped’ with alum works, peat, and stone quarrying. Coal mines and Iron works with their associated furnaces, filled the valley at Beckhole and Grosmont. Hush mining was used a lot too, and boy that changes the landscape. Admittedly, some areas have yet to recover fully Halkyn Mountain in North Wales leaps to mind, and yet it’s bleak outlook also is a form of beauty.

  6. i can give you an 1500 words on the lake district i was lots of school trips there with my clipboard and questionnaire. It did suprise me how industry changes the landscape and what happens when it leaves.

    The photos are wonderful

  7. Harvard System of Referencing … now where was that when I was doing my dissertation? I have bookmarked it, thank you, for the next time I have 15,000 words to write. For the moment, however, 1,500 is way more than I can manage. And anyway, the summer term is only two days away!

  8. The hope cement works quarry is pretty well screened with only the actual works being visible.
    Others are not so good. These quarries dont actually employ as many as they used to.
    Although my company makes parts that wear out in quarries
    Limestone in the peak is not abrasive like granite.I can see a few of these quarries closing in the next few years.
    The landscape just cannot be destroyed like it use to be.

  9. I am very much for conservation of the countryside but I am also aware that the Hope Valley has been an industrial landscape for many centuries – much more so than it is now. There need to be stronger controls on the amount of quarrying that can be done especially in other areas locally but people need work and it needs to be local or villages become just dormitories and lose all the sense of life and community. It’s a hard line to define.

  10. we have a cement works that is very similar but it closed in 1974. they can’t knock it down because of the asbestos – it would cost too much – so it gets used in film shoots and for storage and so on. i love taking pictures there – one day i would love to go inside but i suspect they would not be wild about that…

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