An Introduction to Errington Wood

 

The origins of Errington wood can be traced back to 1773 when the Errington family first planted the hillside with trees as a cash crop.

C ommercial management of the site continued until the end of the 1970?s when the Saltburn and Marske urban district council purchased the woodland from Zetland estates.  

Thirty years on and the woodland is now under the stewardship of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council whose management objectives are firmly based on improving the Biodiversity of the wood and maintaining its amenity values.

Present management is focused on breaking up the age structure of the over mature conifer trees, work is carried out between October and March to avoid disturbance to wildlife during the breeding season.

To ensure the continuity of the wood selected areas are periodically felled and new trees planted, increasingly we are encouraging the natural re generation of native trees simply by opening the evergreen canopy.

In addition to tree management the site must be remembered for its rich industrial heritage.   

Men lived and died in the "Upleatham Mines" for almost 100 years to feed the furnaces of Teeside, the output being so intense that it soon became the second largest complex in Europe, its hard to imagine today the tubs of iron ore trundling up and down Pontac road  

Railway linked the drifts and linked up with the main line. In the woodlands they called the lines after Crimean Battles Alma, Sebastopol and Inkerman.

In 1862 New Marske was Born the first houses in Gurney Place and Dale Street. The Village was called Marske New Town. Decline in mining started in 1912 with the closer of East Winning 1921 for west winning and finally 1923 for the Main Drift.

After the closer of the drift in 1923 much of the lower slopes were planted mainly with Larch. Evidence of the woodlands past still lingers The Foundations of the steam engine, the site of the managers cottages gardens relics and the site of the ventilation house near the East Winning. There is evidence of earlier occupation in the form of several Bronze Age burial mounds.

These were situated at the very top of the wood and form a wonderful vantage point over the Tees estuary. That is bearing in mind that the woodland had not been planted then.

Today, one of these mounds is still intact and very prominent for anyone to see. Others have been excavated or ploughed up and are indistinct or have disappeared completely.

Two cup stones exist, but there whereabouts is not generally known.

Friends of Errington Woods would like to preserve the woodland for all to enjoy but we feel the woods need a helping hand.





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