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 updates

04 Jan 19

Re-establishing roots

Our first tree planting event of the winter was with volunteers from the South Lakes Conservation Group. We spent the morning planting trees along one of the becks at High Birk Howe Farm. Historic maps from 1860 show that the stream was once lined with trees so this work will enhance both the historic and natural environment. Our team of volunteers planted 20 groups of trees in cages to give the trees some protection whilst they grow.

Tree planting in Little Langdale

21 Dec 18

And we are live!

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the hydro is now switched on and generating electricity. After 5 years of planning the project is finally complete, and the rain we’ve been having in the valley lately is - for once - most welcome. Over the course of a year, the hydro will generate more electricity than the National Trust in the South Lakes uses, and income earned from the surplus will be reinvested back into conservation work in the area. This isn’t the end of our updates so make sure to check back periodically for what comes next – including a celebratory event in early spring 2019.

14 Dec 18

The drains get some TLC (Tender lengthsmen care)

Fix the Fells volunteer lengthsmen returned to Greenburn this weekend to give the drains along the footpath up to the mine some much needed TLC. Undeterred by the rain, the lengthsmen cleared the drains from the mine down to the fell gate, which will help to improve conditions underfoot for visitors to the mine. A sterling effort all round.

Lengthsmen clearing drains in the Greenburn valley