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Coal has been mined in the Lount area since the 14th century and mining was well established from the early part of the 17th century. Numerous collieries have been operated since these times, the last, in the area, being New Lount Colliery, which closed in 1968- bringing to an end over 600 years of mining history.
New Lount Colliery was opened in 1924 by the Leicestershire Colliery & Pipe Company Limited and whilst most of the previous mining activity had taken place to the north of the new colliery site, it is very likely that there had been some previous mining activity here. At the time when preparations were being made to sink the shafts, the area was agricultural land and was owned by Sir George Beaumont.
The colliery remained in the ownership of the Leicestershire Colliery & Pipe Company Limited until the nationalisation of the industry on 1st January 1947; although the colliery was controlled by the government during WW2.
The colliery continued to progress in the ownership of the National Coal Board until its closure on 26th July 1968, some 44 years after it had been started. During these years the colliers at New Lount acquired a strong reputation for being "big hitters" and the colliery had earned the nickname "Clash", signifying that it was non-stop activity, rush and noise!
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Following the closure of the colliery in 1968 the site was partially cleared and then left derelict. Only small-scale excavations of the pit bank occurred up to 1986 and the site underwent natural regeneration. In 1986 the height of the pit bank was reduced from 50 metres to 34 metres (to provide the substrate for the A42 at Ashby de la Zouch) and three wetland ponds were created near the top of the pit bank, to conserve plants threatened by the nearby open-cast operations.
In 1997 Leicestershire County Council acquired the site in order to develop it into a nature reserve. At this time a geotechnical assessment was carried out to confirm the stability of the pit-bank. The air raid shelters and the weighbridge were filled in and new access roads and a car park were created. Conservation work started, including substantial areas of woodland planting, to develop this once industrial site into a thriving nature reserve. As you walk this Heritage Trail you will see first-hand evidence of the progress made in achieving a flourishing nature reserve, plus a glimpse of the industrial heritage. The industry on the site continues to contribute significantly to the bio diversity by creating habitats which are shaped by the former use of the land as an industrial colliery.