Ravenscar can be found high on the cliffs of the North Yorkshire coast between Scarborough and Whitby. The stunning coastal countryside and industrial heritage found here is a product of thousands of years of natural history and hundreds of years of industrial and agricultural activity.
The village of Port Mulgrave lies nine miles North West of Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast. The settlement here owes its existence to the ironstone mining industry of the mid-19th century. The old mine entrance can still be seen 50 feet above the high water mark. After the mine ceased to be productive the tunnel was extended to join with the Grinkle Park mine and used to transport stone to the harbour by narrow gauge railway.
Please note, following a large landslip in January 2016, the footpath to the beach is currently not accessible. The cliff slopes remain unstable and it is dangerous to attempt to reach the beach here.
Loftus Alum Quarries
Today Loftus Alum Quarries is a peaceful place to get away from it all and enjoy the cliff top views of the coast, but between 1656 and 1863 it was a centre of industrial activity.
Warsett Hill is the highest point on the stretch of coast between Saltburn and Skinningrove. It is well worth climbing to enjoy the superb panoramic view of the coast and surrounding area that it offers. The hill was the site of a Roman signal station built to defend the area against Anglo-Saxon attack but most of the archaeological interest here is a little more modern.
Old Saltburn may only be a small piece of land but is interesting for its nature conservation value.
The slumped boulder clay cliff slopes that rise up from the beach support plants such as hemp-agrimony, fragrant orchid, bird’s foot trefoil and betony.
The steep sided valley that cuts through the centre of the property is known as Little Dale and is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. Salad burnet, wild thyme, harebell and common century can be found growing here.
Old Saltburn is easily accessed from the public car park on the front at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The entrance to the grassland is at grid reference NZ669215.
In spring it is home to a raucous colony of seabirds. Kittiwakes, fulmars and the occasional razorbill jostle for position on precarious looking ledges. On grassy areas towards the top a large colony of herring gulls add to the cacophony.
A walk onto the top of the nab offers great views over the village. There are some interesting plants that grow up here including wild cabbage and wild carrot.
There are public car parks for visitors to Cowbar Nab in both Staithes and Cowbar. The grid reference for Cowbar Nab is NZ780189.
Our field at Runswick Bay contains two reservoirs built to feed an ironwork’s blast furnace in the mid-19th-century, the remains of which can be found at the base of the slumped sea cliffs. Today they are managed as wildlife ponds. The deeper of the two provides breeding habitat for all three of our native species of newt, including the rare great crested newt.
There are two public car parks at Runswick Bay. Follow the Cleveland Way to grid reference NZ807162 to visit the ponds.