Tracks of the Ironmasters historic route

red squirrel with blond tail using a tree mounted nut feeder

The blonde-tailed red squirrels is one of the rare species benefiting from the path's Greenway status. Image credit: Mike Mossop

image of rock crasher

Historic rock crasher equipment can be seen near the path. Image credit: Maddi Nicholson - Art Gene.

Old railway building with grass field background

Old railway building along the path. Image credit: Maddi Nicholson - Art Gene.

The Western section of the C2C coastal path from Whitehaven to Rowrah, and Workington to Seaton, Siddick and Broughton Moor is a former railway track which once hauled iron ore trains between the mines at Knockmurton and Kelton, and Whitehaven Harbour, as well as the ironworks at Workington.

It is linked to former iron ore mines and includes a number of historic bridges and remnants of the path’s past, such as a rock crusher, railway signals and old railway stations.

In 2016 we won funding of £859,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore and conserve the historic and natural features along the paths, which are known by local people as the Tracks of the Ironmasters.

We are working with the local community to help restore historic remnants along the tracks and celebrate the area’s social history through regular activities, storytelling and a trail.

As part of the project, we are recruiting volunteers and developing local heritage skills such as stone conservation, lime pointing, dry stone walling and traditional hedgelaying.

The project is also part of our new apprenticeship scheme which includes training opportunities.

The route is also special for wildlife, with several rare species such as red squirrel and small blue butterfly thriving alongside it, and connects important habitats such as heathland, woodland and the nationally important hay meadow High Leys nature reserve.