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Natural England - The Mineral Valleys Project: About us

The Mineral Valleys Project: About us

West County Durham is an area steeped in a rich social, industrial and natural heritage. The Mineral Valleys Project, which covered an area of 89,000 hectares aimed to use environment-led regeneration to help local communities celebrate their heritage whilst enhancing the environment around them.

Rookhope view

Rookhope view

The Mineral Valleys Partnership: a combination of 50 businesses, statutory, community and voluntary organisations (see list of partners below), led by Natural England and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, have successfully completed a £5.2 million programme making this vision a reality.

Between 2003 and 2008, 14 separate but connected initiatives have sustainably regenerated the natural, social and industrial heritage of the area. The initiatives gave local people the opportunity to take part in projects, helping in their planning and development whilst gaining new skills and knowledge about the areas around them. Other initiatives encouraged environmental and geological tourism to the area, helping to boost the local economy.

This website will give you an introduction to each of the initiatives within the Mineral Valleys Project, explaining what each has achieved, where they took place, when they took place and who to get in touch with if you want to find out more.

The Mineral Valleys Partnership includes a variety of organisations, individuals and businesses. In this website you see lead delivery partners listed as contacts for each of the projects. However, these organisations are only a part of the Mineral Valleys Partnership.

Area map

The Mineral Valleys project covered 89,000 hectares of west County Durham. The map below shows the location of the 14 distinct but complementary projects which took place in this area. Each of the individual project pages has a map showing its coverage.

This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Natural England 100046223 2006.

The Team

Meet the team responsible for overseeing the programme of work carried out by the Mineral Valleys Project.


The partners without whom many of the projects would not have been possible:

Select a region