Greenburn Hydro Project

A view down the Greenburn valley looking south east

Industrial heritage

From Stone Age axe factory to Victorian gunpowder works, the Langdale valleys have a rich industrial heritage, energised by water power as far back as the 15th century. The Greenburn valley is no exception. As a former copper mine, many features associated with its legacy are still in evidence and of much interest today. The remains of water sluices, leat systems and a waterwheel pit remain visible and the site is now a designated Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM). 

Green future

This summer we are starting work on a significant hydropower project nestled in the heart of this valley. When complete it will provide a robust renewable energy solution in a landscape where few other opportunities exist to bring in a guaranteed income 'stream' to support our future conservation work in Little Langdale.

Watch this space

Keep checking back below for regular updates from the project team on how the work is progressing and more about the unique history of this valley. We're looking forward to sharing this exciting project with you as each stage unfolds.

Latest posts

19 Jun 18

Valley views

We've now laid a quarter of the pipe we have on site and as you can see it’s quite an involved process. A trench for the pipe is excavated before the pipes are welded together into 100m sections and carefully lowered into it. The trench is backfilled with soil and re-seeded so that it will quickly green over and recover.

12 Jun 18

Laying the pipe

Pipe laying is progressing well and we are now on to the open fell heading towards the intake. This unusual machine is the mobile welding kit which follows the pipe up the hill. Pipes are joined by a process called butt welding where the two ends of the pipe to be joined are heated with a hot plate and then pressed together. As the two pieces cool, they form a permanent bond, which is then stress tested by the machine to ensure they have produced a secure joint. Each joint will take around an hour to form and is then placed in the trench and immediately backfilled. In total 1.2km of pipe is being laid in 12m sections so that’s 100 joints needing to be fused!

Laying the pipe

05 Jun 18

Letting in the light

Last week we added to our photographic monitoring of Greenburn and took the opportunity to fly over the larch plantation alongside the beck which our forestry team had thinned earlier in the year. This resulting photograph shows the difference the work has made. Whilst the northern edge of the beck is still to be thinned and is dense and dark, the southern side where the work occurred now has a much more open canopy. This allows more light to reach the woodland floor which will encourage natural regeneration of native trees, adding to the diversity of the beckside habitat.

An aerial view of the larch plantation alongside the beck