The Harehope Quarry Project is making progress with a new website and advertising materials, many new educational days on offer and real in-roads being made into the smallholding.
At the start of the project we had three main phases of development; the nature reserve, the eco-classroom and the smallholding, which includes the carp farm. The nature reserve is now well established with permissive paths, interpretation and a variety of activity-based walks leaflets. The eco-classroom is finished and uses wind, solar and hydro-power as well passive solar, is heated by a ceramic stove and incorporates green building techniques such as newspaper insulation, locally sourced timber, composting toilets and solar hot water heating.
The living roof of the eco-classroom has already been successfully used by a nesting pair of oystercatchers! We have started work on the smallholding with new fencing for the carp ponds, to deter the otter from eating all the fish, an established ‘pig club’, half an acre of land now used for growing and our flock of chickens, which produce eggs for a local egg round. More recently we have reared some chickens for eating inspired by Hugh Fearnly Wittonstall’s television programme.
The new website and advertising materials, which have been part-funded by the Mineral Valleys Project, have helped us to bring all our activities together and to promote our services to a wider audience. The website address is www.harehopequarry.org.uk and contains details of both our community and education programme. But it is our recent arrivals that have created most excitement!
Miss Piggy, Betsy or Ginger Spice (she has many names!), has just produced her first litter of 8 piglets. She will be back in Cave’s Batts field in the next couple of weeks. We have also created a ‘Beast of Bollihope Burn’ as part of our Spring Watch community event. The Bollihope Burn was spring-cleaned and the resulting rubbish monster now proudly stands close to the railway crossing at Broadwood to encourage others to clean their bit of river up!