Harehope Quarry is a redundant limestone quarry and adjoining land in Weardale, Co. Durham.  The quarry is now run and managed by the Harehope Quarry Project, a workers’ co-operative.  Much of the work carried out by the Project is done voluntarily.  The Project aims to demonstrate a more sustainable way of living through its education and training programme and the management and development of the site.  The site comprises the quarry, the Tip End and Cave’s Batts field.

The Harehope Quarry Project:

  • Manages the site for wildlife
  • Provides permissive footpath access to parts of the site for the public
  • Runs the Eco-classroom, which is available for hire
  • Delivers environmental education, field studies, sustainability education and Forest School courses for schools and other groups and organisations
  • Organises a community events programme and runs courses and training
  • Produces food from its smallholding

Profits generated from these activities go towards maintaining the site, the Eco-classroom and delivering educational days and community events. The project is a permaculture LAND Centre and has been developed using Permaculture design tools. Aspects of particular interest for Transition groups include the eco-classroom, a new residential development on site, our annual community events programme and a project run with the local community called ‘Working for a Future in Frosterley’.

Both the Eco-classroom and the new residential development are a post and beam form of timber frame construction using the Segal self-build method and incorporate a number of ‘green’ building techniques. The Eco-classroom was built entirely with volunteer labour.  The Eco-classroom is also the venue for the education and training programmes run on site.  Our current community programme and educational services are detailed on the website.  In addition the Project also delivers a variety of funded projects.  The ‘Working for Future in Frosterley’ project was a small-scale Transition Town project, which produced a carbon footprint for 10% of the village, ran a series of transition skills courses and developed an action plan of projects to make Frosterley a more sustainable place to live.  A full report is available.