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

04 Apr 18

Pipe preparation

Over the past week we have had an excavator at the intake on the common, beginning the slow task of pecking our way through the bedrock to lay a channel for the penstock pipe. This pipe will deliver water from the intake all the way down to the powerhouse some 1.1km distance and 139 m vertical height loss below. Due to the nature of the landscape we need to dig more than 3m of rock out, although for the majority of the route the pipe will be laid just 1m below the surface.

Excavator chipping away at the bedrock to lay a channel for the pipe

02 Apr 18

Work whatever the weather

Despite the best efforts of the weather to disrupt our plans, in recent weeks we’ve been working hard with our fencing contractor around Little Langdale tarn to deliver more of the project’s conservation work. These new boundaries will protect the watercourses from bank erosion and create areas of new riparian (river bank) habitat for tree planting. These new habitats will then link up with the surrounding copses and woodlands.

New fencing to protect river banks from erosion

21 Mar 18

Progress on the powerhouse

We’re happy to report good progress on the powerhouse. Once the ductile iron (blue pipework pictured) is in exact position and the reinforcement is completed then we will shutter (box in) the foundations and pour the concrete.

Progress on the powerhouse