Milkwort at Gang Mine, Kieron Huston

Milkwort at Gang Mine, Kieron Huston

Red tailed bumblebee, Jon Hawkins, Surrey Hills Photography

Red tailed bumblebee, Jon Hawkins, Surrey Hills Photography 

Great crested newt, The Wildlife Trusts

Great crested newt, The Wildlife Trusts 

Buttercups, Kieron Huston

Buttercups, Kieron Huston

Explore this little reserve and look for specialist lead-tolerant flowers and glow worms!

Location

Off Porter Lane,
Middleton by Wirksworth
Derbyshire
DE4 4FT

OS Map Reference

SK 286555
A static map of Gang Mine

Know before you go

Size
4 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Park just off Porter Lane, DE4 4FT or at The National Stone Centre

Grazing animals

Yes, sometimes

Walking trails

Paths open at all times. Please note that the reserve has some dangerous mine shafts which are normally capped but may be liable to soil movement. Please be careful.

Access

There is limited parking for disabled visitors, by agreement with the neighbouring land owner, adjacent to the recreation ground and adjoining the reserve on the western boundary. All paths are uneven but several should be accessible to wheelchairs (accompanied) and people of limited mobility in dry weather.

Dogs

On a lead

Facilities

Picnic area

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Early summer for the wild flowers - follow the wild flower trail

About the reserve

This reserve is part of an ancient lead mining area.

The name Gang Mine comes from the word 'gangue', meaning waste, for the waste minerals which were dumped around the shafts. The lead spoil heaps are of little agricultural use, and only a small number of plants are able to tolerate the high concentration of minerals.

Among the species that thrive here are the nationally rare spring sandwort, and alpine pennycress. Both are locally known as leadwort. The lead spoil grades into other open areas. In some, lichens dominate the ground cover, while in others colonising species such as kidney vetch and thyme dominate. These open areas provide ideal conditions for ground-hunting invertebrates such as wolf spiders and ground beetles.

Away from the lead spoil heaps the habitat is mostly unimproved neutral grassland with a variety of flowers such as yarrow, mouse-ear hawkweed and bush vetch and occasional pyramidal orchid. The dew pond, a traditional drinking place for livestock, has been restored and adds an interesting feature to the reserve, providing permanent water, a valuable habitat for amphibians including the rare great crested newt.

Metal-rich grasslands such as Gang Mine are uncommon across Europe and because of this the area has been designated not only as a Site of Special Scientific Interest but also under European Law as a Special Area of Conservation.

Contact us

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01773 881188

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)