|DL says: The Ironworks was set up in the 1850s, and the Barrow Iron Shipbuilding Company was established in 1872, being taken over by Vickers in 1899. Although extensive still, the slag bank is only half the size of what it was 20 years ago. The gap in the middle is where the Cocken Tunnel used to go underneath the slag bank, the tunnel itself preserving an ancient right of way from North Scale to Dalton. What appears to be two slag banks is in fact the remains of one. The northern end is still used for slag extraction for road works etc., exported by ship through Barrow Docks. The southern end, as you know, is now landscaped and is a superb vantage point for viewing the island and beyond. Until the reclamation work started, the northern end was home to a number of peregrine falcons that nested on the edge overlooking the channel. |
Colin says: Thanks for all that DL. It's interesting that you should mention peregrine falcons. I was up the slag bank the other day and saw a couple of birds of prey identical to the one which has been frequenting the former miniture golf course on Earnse bay all summer. I was assured at the time that the Earnse Bay bird was a Kestrel - and looking at the RSPB web site it certainly seemed to be the nearest match. (Search this site for 'Kestrel' to see the photos.) So it looks like either (1) the falcons are stil there, but are really kestrels, (2) the Earnse Bay bird is a perigrine after all, or (3) since the falcons moved out - kestrels have arrived. Either way, it's less than a week since the grandkids and I watched a pair of them hunting in the fields just north of the slag bank for over an hour!
DL says: They are easy to tell apart - the kestrel is the only bird of prey that hovers. Once you have seen a peregrine swoop, you would recognise it anywhere. It is the fastest bird in the UK at that!
Colin says: If that's the case then they were definately all Kestrels.
big boy says: nice boat