Tearsall Quarry forms part of Wensley hillside, a historically important lead mining landscape, just west of Matlock.
Tearsall Quarry has provided supplies of fluorspar since the 1970s but many local people and visitors are unhappy about the removal of large amounts of additional limestone. There have also been far more lorry movements than permitted. The site is owned by Slinter Mining, based in Cromford.
- 1975 & 1986 - Planning permission to extract fluorspar is granted. Slinter Mining begins quarrying.
- 1980s - The quarry grows and becomes more noticeable. Local footpaths and bridleways have to be diverted. More and more limestone is quarried.
- 1990s - The Save Wenley Hillside group is formed to fight further extensions to the site and bring lorries under control after Slinter keeps trying to extend the operations.
- 1998 - Friends of the Peak District, The Ramblers and Save Wensley Hillside and strong local opposition successfully campaign against an application for a major extension.
- 2004 - Slinter applies for another extension. We raise strong objections and it is refused permission by the Peak District National Park Authority. But the company appeals, forcing a public inquiry.
- 2005 - We give evidence at the public inquiry. It says that although supplying fluorspar is in the national interest, the impact of the extension would have a disproportionate impact on the National Park environment and so the plans are refused.
- 2006 - 2007 - the site is restored using waste materials - although the final shape of the repaired landscape isn't yet agreed. The problem of too many lorries continues.
- 2008 - Glebe Mines (which operates the only fluorspar processing plant in the UK at Stoney Middleton) applies for a large extension to the west of the partly-restored quarry. It plans to remove 660,000 tonnes of fluorspar over six years. We object because Glebe already has plenty of fluorspar reserves at its underground mine near Great Hucklow. Working these would be much less damaging to the National Park.
- 2009 - The Peak District National Park Authority gives permission to Glebe Mines. It gets Glebe to agree not to mine sensitive areas of Longstone Edge, and also to commit to getting more flourspar from underground mining.
- 2010 - Quarrying hasn't started as the legal agreements with the Peak District National Park Authority aren't yet concluded. At the same time, IneosFlour (the parent company of Glebe) is sold to Mexichem. This brings into question the future viability of Glebe and possibly the future working of the site…