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Apes Tor, Staffordshire

SITE LOCATION AND ACCESS
© GeoconservationUK ESO-S Project, 2014


It is anticipated that the ideas and materials presented here will be adapted by schools, and others, to be more appropriate for their own purposes and programmes of study.

In such circumstances please acknowledge the source as the Earth Science On-Site project.

Site Details

ATlocmap.jpg
Figure 1: Location Map for the site
SITE NAME:APES TOR - ECTON HILL, STAFFORDSHIRE.
STATUS:Designated a RIGS site (Regionally Important Geological & Geomorphological Site).
GRID REFERENCE:SK 098587
OS MAP(s):The White Peak. 1:25,000
BGS MAP(s): 
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONThe northern side of Ecton Hill is the site of a series of small quarries extending for about 200m along the roadside. The quarries exhibit a series of folds, and some faults, in Carboniferous Limestone rock faces up to 20m high. There are few fossils in these rocks, which are mainly impure, muddy limestones. The western side of the hill is the site of the ore dressing floors, the signs of the copper mining which ended in the late 19 th century. The top of the hill is pitted with old mine workings and could be dangerous to the unwary, although several footpaths do cross the hill. The site is now owned by the National Trust. No material should be hammered or collected from any of these protected sites
DIRECTIONS:See Figure 1. The easiest access to the site is from HULME END [GR: 106593] on the B5054. The minor roads to Apes Tor are easily passable by minibus and car, but not coaches.

Coaches of any size should not attempt to approach the site, but instead park at the Manifold Valley Visitors’ Centre, 250m west of Hulme End, on the B5054. This is a Pay & Display car park.

Then the safest approach to Apes Tor from the Visitors’ Centre is by the footpath along the disused railway which runs adjacent to the centre. (See Figure 2) It was never a mineral line – passengers, milk and general goods were the main travellers between 1904 and 1934.

The Visitors’ Centre has limited toilet facilities.
There are no such facilities at Apes Tor, or on Ecton Hill.

FROM THE WEST take the A523, the LEEK to ASHBOURNE road. Turn onto the B5053 and continue through WARSLOW, and fork right onto on the B5054 road towards HARTINGTON. At HULME END turn right at the hotel by the bridge. After half a kilometre turn right. Go through Westside Mill and on for about 300metres, to Apes Tor. Limited parking is available at the east end of Apes Tor. To reach the main car park, continue westwards around the base of Ecton Hill, past the Warslow turnoff, where there is a larger roadside car park on the left, suitable for several cars and minibuses, at GR: 097582.

FROM THE EAST take the A515, the BUXTON to ASHBOURNE road. Turn onto the B5054 and continue through HARTINGTON and on to HULME END. At HULME END turn left at the hotel by the bridge. After half a kilometre turn right. Go through Westside Mill and on for about 300metres, to Apes Tor. Limited parking is available at the east end of Apes Tor. To reach the main car park, continue westwards around the base of Ecton Hill , past the Warslow turnoff, where there is a larger roadside car park on the left, suitable for several cars and minibuses, at GR: 097582.

AT3map2.jpg
Figure 2: Map of Manifold Valley and Ecton Hill Sites
ACCESS:No restrictions to access.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS:From the Manifold Valley, along the track and at the roadside outcrops, there is wheelchair access. However, approaching the faces, even slightly away from the road, will be extremely difficult.

Initial Risk Assessment

All group leaders should meet with their parties prior to the On-Site visit and impress upon participants the educational nature of the event, and the need for extra consideration for the safety of themselves and others.

Each group should have a member of staff proficient in First Aid, and carry a mobile telephone for emergencies.

There is no substitute for group leaders viewing the site before the field visit and making their own risk assessment, according to the requirements of their own organisation. The following assessment is only a guide[1].

  • Note that there is no mobile phone reception in the valleys, and very poor reception on the hills around. There is a public phone box at the junction of the road to Hulme End with the lane to Back of Ecton.


RISK ACTION
The exposures are next to a minor road which does carry traffic, particularly in the summer. Warn pupils, and keep a look out. With young pupils perhaps consider a “safety ribbon” held by two members of staff at the rear of the party viewing the roadside exposures.
There is a small risk of blocks falling from the low quarry faces, which haven’t been worked for many years. Wear hard hats.
Pupils could fall from the low rock exposures. Instruct pupils they should not climb on the rock exposures.
Along the valley there are various disused mine workings. Instruct pupils to keep away from all mine workings / adits / shafts. Most are gated.
The hilltop is the site of several old mine shafts. If pupils are taken on to the hill, then stay on the footpaths.

References

  1. For further information on conducting a Risk assessment go to National Stone Centre www.nationalstonecentre.org.uk


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© GeoconservationUK ESO-S Project, 2014
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Sponsors:
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ESTAESTA
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