West Carclaze has a long history of extensive mining as part of an industry which has shaped our local communities and economy for centuries. Records show underground mining for tin taking place at West Carclaze from as early as the 15th Century and china clay has been extracted in the area since the early 1800s.
Retaining the Sky Tip

At the last consultation we asked for your views on the Sky Tip. You told us the Tip is an iconic reminder of the extensive mining activity which existed on the site. Regarded with affection by those who live around it, the Sky Tip will be the centrepiece of the development and will be safeguarded through the proposals.

We recognise its local importance and will retain it to be the centre feature of our proposals for the “China Clay Heritage Park”. The Tip will naturally weather and erode, as it already has, producing its dramatic sculptural shapes. Our plans are to let nature take its course and allow it to evolve as the centrepiece of an extensive recreational and wildlife habitat, which will bring pleasure and enjoyment to residents and visitors alike.

History in the Making

Tipping on the site started from 1914 onwards with the Sky Tip being completed in 1958. It is primarily sand, the waste material taken from the adjacent Great Treverbyn Pit.

There are still a number of similar tips in existence but, with the passage of time, many others have been levelled, some have naturally developed trees and vegetation, whilst others have been reshaped.

Seven china clay pits opened up between 1807 and 1913. The first of these was Higher Ninestones Pit. Other pits on the site included Penhale, Lower and Higher Ninestones, Ruddlecommon, West Carclaze and Great Treverbyn whilst on the adjacent sites there was Ruddle, Baal, Pentruff, Alseveor and Norman Pits

In the 1950s the West Carclaze area pits employed over 200 people, many of whom would have lived in the surrounding communities of Carthew, Scredda, Penwithick and Stenalees , and produced thousands of tonnes of china clay generating jobs and economic benefits to the area but also dramatically re-shaping the landscape.

Over the years a number of restoration initiatives have already taken place at West Carclaze to provide woodland, heathland and wetland features across the site with a number of pits backfilled with miscellaneous residue, sand and rock. However, the great majority is not publicly accessible.

These areas will be at the heart of the new green space opened up to the public, with extensive walking, cycling and horse riding trails. All part of the regeneration of the site which would be made possible by the Eco-Communities project.