Two children at the Coniston Copper site

Coniston Copper heritage project has pupils mining for information

18 March 2019

Staff Blogger

To help grab the imagination and interest of local children to the Coniston Coppermines project, a team  of specialists, teachers and volunteers has been working with a range of schools on a variety of fun and thought-provoking activities.

We feel it’s vitally important to make sure that the youngest members of the local community really understand and appreciate Coniston’s rich copper-mining heritage, so for nearly a year we have been working with primary and secondary schools to fully immerse them in the project.   

A range of free learning resources has also been created so if you're a teacher and are inspired by this project then we have a variety of ideas to help you plan lessons and activities.

We’d love to hear about your projects so please do get in touch with feedback and photos of your learners in action.


We’ve worked with Heritage Lottery staff, archaeologists, historians, scientists and teachers to make sure we developed a well-rounded programme of activities that are age-appropriate but really pushed each group of children to learn as much as they could about the Coppermines. This education project was possible due to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


We’ve developed close links with the teachers at Coniston Church of England School and John Ruskin School to develop cross-curricular activities that help bring to life the fascinating history and stories of the people that once made their living mining the Coniston fells.


Every pupil at the Coniston Church of England School took part in a range of activities, which included research, model-making and computer programming. They also developed drama pieces which were filmed and are currently on show in the Ruskin Museum.

Some of these activities took place in the traditional school environment but some of them took place at the mines themselves which pupils of all ages really enjoyed and immersed themselves in the history of this special place.

Geography, science and French students at John Ruskin School explored the mining heritage through geology, electrolysis (a process that took place in Coppermines Valley), and through translation of letters in the archive of the Anglo-French Coniston Electrolytic Copper Company.


The students from both schools gained an insight and deep appreciation the Coppermines and how important they are to preserve for future generations. Each pupil who took part was really absorbed by the project and it has been a brilliant opportunity for the pupils, teachers and families in the local community to fully embrace their local heritage.

Parents supported this learning in a variety of ways. A parent of a pupil at Coniston Church of England School contacted us and said:

“Just to say wow, what  a show and what credit the school and the children have done for the village, its history and for all those that will get to see the film in the future. Wonderful heritage to be proud of! You all must be feeling as proud as certainly we are with what all the children have done with the school backing it up 100 per cent!”

We are absolutely delighted that this has been a successful educational project which has helped pupils, families and the local community think about the importance of Coniston’s unique heritage.

Header image shows two of the children involved in the learning project at the Coppermines site.

Heritage Lottery Funded project

Staff Blogger

portrait of Lake District NAtioanl PArk archaeologist Eleanor Kingston

Eleanor Kingston

Lake District National Park Lead Strategy Adviser - Historic Environment

Share this page