The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Blowing Up the Dales
The pros and cons of quarrying in national parks, and the irony of a state of affairs where what aids the enjoyment of landscape also destroys it.
From the collection of:
This is an insightful, and still relevant, documentary made by Yorkshire Television that presents the conflict between environmentalists and limestone and gritstone companies quarrying in the Yorkshire and Derbyshire National Parks. Among the many interviewed, both for and against the quarrying, is the comedian and folk singer Mike Harding, who makes an impassioned case for closing the quarries.
The quarrying industry in the Dales dates back hundreds of years, not just for limestone but also for sandstone and ‘gritstones’. Despite the continual protests over the quarrying, production has if anything increased since the film was made: National Park quarries produce around 4 million tonnes per annum, much of it as foundation for roads. Many of the planning permissions for quarries were granted before or just after the national parks were set up in 1949, so they rarely include any need for backfilling or landscaping. As well as being a musician and comedian Mike Harding has also been heavily involved in environmental issues and is a vice-president of the Ramblers' Association.