New railway track laid at Irchester Country Park as part of heritage project

Senior Ranger Dan Doyle with park staff and local Councillors with the first stretch of demonstration rail track laid at Irchester Country Park in part of the old Wembley Quarry. NNL-151113-121256009
Senior Ranger Dan Doyle with park staff and local Councillors with the first stretch of demonstration rail track laid at Irchester Country Park in part of the old Wembley Quarry. NNL-151113-121256009

Irchester Country Park saw the first stretch of its new demonstration railway track laid yesterday (Friday) as part of the park’s heritage project.

The track will showcase the route of the old railway which once transported iron ore from the former Wembley Pit quarry.

The £89,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is being used to create a new heritage trail linking with the Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in the park.

As well as revealing the route of the old railway, this work will also help to let in the light and encourage the many wildflowers and insects that thrive on sunny quarry banks.

Students from Moulton College and members of Leicester Literacy and Philosophical Society’s Geology Section helped park rangers to clear scrub and brambles.

The project is aiming to create a safe entry to the quarry floor for local and countrywide geological groups and schools for study purposes and some of the funding will go towards developing educational materials and equipment.

Cllr Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “We are pleased to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to help us create a new heritage trail to open up new learning and leisure opportunities in one of our most popular country parks.”

Vanessa Harbar, head of HLF East Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to support this project which provides a great opportunity for people to learn about Northamptonshire’s geological and industrial past while also helping to protect the biodiversity of this popular country park.”