The new app enables walkers to trace the Dales' mining history. Photo: Yorkshire Dales NPA

The new app enables walkers to trace the Dales' mining history. Photo: Yorkshire Dales NPA

Walkers can now take a trip back in time to discover the industrial history of a national park, thanks to a new smartphone technology.

The free app details the Yorkshire Dales’ mining past and helps outdoor enthusiasts add a little historical discovery to their trips.

Karen Griffiths, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s interpretation officer, said: “For decades, lead mining played a massive part in the shaping of the landscape and the communities in the national park.

“This free app, which has been mainly funded by Historic England, is an absolute must for anyone who wants to learn about the industry while they are actually walking around the sites. It’s like having your own personal tour guide.

“Among other things, the app contains archive images, descriptions of the sites and OS location maps of key sites ranging from Grassington miners’ cottages to the Old Gang peat store in Swaledale.

“There are also audio trails, walking routes, activities for children and useful visitor information such as places to eat, accommodation links, public toilets and car parks.

Gunnerside Gill lead mine in Swaledale

Gunnerside Gill lead mine in Swaledale

“Looking after these extensive industrial remains is not easy and we are grateful to Historic England for helping to fund so much of the conservation work carried out over the past 20 years. Recently this work has been managed through the Yorkshire Dales Industrial Monument Management Scheme, which began in 2012 and is due for completion in 2016.”

Yvonne Luke, heritage at risk officer at Historic England, said: “The app is fun and easy to use with photos that help bring the sites to life so we think it will appeal to a wider audience than traditional history books.

“This is also our way of saying a big thank you to all the volunteers who have worked so hard conserving these fabulous landmarks in the Dales. We hope people enjoy the App and feel inspired to look after these special places for future generations too.”

The lead mining app is available for both iOS and Android platforms and is available on iTunes and Google Play.

More information about the history of lead mining in the Yorkshire Dales can also be found on the national park authority’s Out of Oblivion website.

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