Car fording stream at Caldbeck Common copyright Michael Turner

Caldbeck Minerals

The Caldbeck Fells are a distinctive part of the northern Lake District National Park with scenic landscape, archaeological sites, geology and minerals. The most significant mines and mineral sites are within the Caldbeck and Uldale Commons, owned by the Lake District National Park Authority and Dalemain Estate.

Plumbogummite copyright David Green

From the medieval period until the twentieth century, minerals were mined and its physical remains are noteworthy sites of industrial archaeology. Researchers and collectors are also interested in the varied minerals, many of which have been exposed on mine spoil tips. The Caldbeck minerals have even inspired twenty-first century artist Jane Foale (opens in new window).

Mineral collecting policy

Beudanite copyright David Green

Mineral and archaeological resources are fragile and finite. So that uncontrolled collection does not cause damage, we have adopted a mineral collecting policy on the Caldbeck and Uldale Commons. This has the support of English Heritage, the Dalemain Estate, the British Geological Survey, the Cumberland Geological Society, the Cumbria RIGS Group, Natural England, the Russell Society, the British Micromount Society and other interested parties.

The current policy is based on a review and revision of the previous policy introduced in 2000. It applies to the LDNPA’s property on the Caldbeck and Uldale Commons and that part of the Caldbeck Common owned by the Dalemain Estate.

Malachite copyright David Green

To reduce the pressure of collecting on sensitive sites, we have designated red, amber and green zones within which different conditions apply - please look at the Mineral collecting map for Caldbeck and Uldale Commons (PDF)

A Code of Conduct for mineral collecting on Caldbeck and Uldale Commons (PDF) has also been developed in conjunction with mineral collecting groups and societies.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for permission to collect minerals on the Caldbeck or Uldale Commons, please read the documents linked to below and complete the correct application form:

After your visit

Remember, one of the conditions of receiving a permit is to report on any minerals that you collect. Please use our reporting form and guidance notes to help us. Thank you!