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The Old Mill Project

The Volunteer Ranger Group was formed several years ago by the Park Rangers to do environmental and conservation work in the Dene. Discussions on improving the Old Mill began in Spring 2004 and a grant application made to the Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) with a separate application to English Heritage for permission to make changes to the building.

The applications took hundreds of hours of work to prepare and gain approval but in September 2005 an LHI grant was awarded.

Basic tidying up and maintenance work was needed - after years of neglect, the mill site had become badly overgrown, covered with weeds and graffiti and the security railings needed repainting.

Access improvements included resurfacing the pathway into the mill, a new guard rail, and a new security arrangement for better views into the main mill room.

Finally more information about the mill and the Ouseburn Valley has been provided - new information boards at the mill, a brochure and a scale model of the mill for display at the Visitor Centre. Wherever possible work was done by the Volunteers, although some tasks needed outside help such as fitting new security fences. The Project took about 12 months to complete, starting in November 2005.

Fallen Tree Project

The Volunteer Ranger Group has been busy removing the remains of a fallen tree near the Stepping Stones in Jesmond Dene. You can see the tree (top left) in this black and white photo taken in 1952. The other photos are all taken in 2006 and show the tree in the river. We had to chop branches from the tree in situ - some of them were under the water and were very difficult to cut through. Then the branches had to be hauled up the bank with ropes. Sometimes the large ones needed as many as 12 volunteers pulling the ropes to move them. Progress is being made though and we hope to remove it alltogether eventually.
Left : view from stepping stones.

Right : view from bridge.