East Chevington's 'Catch My Drift' project volunteers swap woodland for Woodhorn

Volunteers with Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s ‘Catch My Drift’ project at East Chevington swapped the outdoors for the comfort of the archives section of Woodhorn Museum in Ashington, much to their relief given the changing weather.The project, funded by players of the National Lottery via a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, is working to improve the land and habitat for people and wildlife on its East Chevington nature reserve.It is titled ‘Catch my Drift’ as a nod to the reserve’s history as it was once the East Chevington Drift Mine (1882-1962) and East Chevington Opencast Coal Site from 1982-1994.The volunteers have been researching life on the ‘The Drift’, as East Chevington Village was known locally, due to the drift mine and found, amongst other things, fabulous old photos, architect drawings of the houses, and the police logbooks, all of which are testament to the painstaking work of archivists at Woodhorn Museum over the years. They session was so successful they will be returning in the New Year.Speaking about archive search, Sophie Webster said: “We did the research at Woodhorn because I think it’s important that we know how this site came to be and what it actually means to the local people.“One of the project objectives is to reconnect people with the land and we think an understanding of where the local community has come from is a big part of that and will really help the next phase of the project.”The information will be used in talks and guided walks around the East Chevington reserve as staff and volunteers are always being questioned about the site’s heritage.The team has previously held coffee mornings where members of the community shared their experiences living in the area and, most recently, spent an afternoon with the ladies of Heatherdale Care Home in Broomhill.

By Gazette Reporter
Saturday, 30th November 2019, 10:00 am
'Catch My Drift' volunteers going through the archives at Woodhorn.
'Catch My Drift' volunteers going through the archives at Woodhorn.