Specialist lead-tolerant flowers are a feature of this ancient lead mining area.

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.


Play Wild rating:

 Play WIld all tear round by beware of mine shafts.

To find out more about our Play Wild programme see here

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Rose End Meadows
1 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Hopton Quarry
2 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
2 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Off Porter Lane, Middleton, 2 miles from Wirksworth
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Opening Times
Open at all times
12.00 hectares
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.
Walking information
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.
Park at the National Stone Centre, Middleton.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01773 881188