Ball Clay extraction at Creech Grange, Dorset
Creech Grange is a remarkable and magical Grade II* landscape set in the Purbeck Hills. The gardens retain significant early eighteenth century elements, including a canal and avenue aligned on the house, formal woodland rides, and quintessential English parkland, all overlooked by an eighteenth century eye-catcher arch (now the property of the National Trust). The landscape has been sensitively and carefully managed by its owner, and is a great credit to his hard work over many years.
We were therefore astounded to discover that the Dorset Mineral Site Allocations proposals identify Creech Grange as a site for ball clay extraction. While historically there has been extraction in the vicinity, the present proposals would bring open-cast workings within the boundary of the Grade II* landscape, and would almost certainly lead to the loss of eighteenth century ponds and woodland integral to the landscape design. The Society has already protested in vehement terms at proposals, which if accepted, would amount to an act of national vandalism. We are also working closely with the Dorset Gardens Trust to establish whether, in the light of new evidence, the existing Register description and, more importantly, the boundary map, accurately reflect the extent of the designed landscape at Creech.