Clints Quarry

A fascinating place not only for wildlife but also for geology and industrial archaeology.

Scroll down to access audio trails for Clints Quarry Nature Reserve and a Virtual Tour.


Near Egremont
CA22 2SZ

OS Map Reference

Sheet no. 89
Grid reference NY 008 124
A static map of Clints Quarry

Know before you go

9 hectares

Entry fee

All donations are gratefully received.

Parking information

Parking is in a layby on the right just after the junction or 100m further on opposite the reserve entrance.

Bicycle parking


Grazing animals


Walking trails

There is a circular route around the quarry (0.9km/0.6 miles) which has steps and some steep and exposed sections.


The reserve has direct access from the public road.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open all year round

Best time to visit

April to August

About the reserve

Wildlife  highlights

  • The abundance of flowers and grasses attract gatekeeper, ringlet, common blue, orange-tip and meadow brown butterflies in the summer
  • Discover ponds that are home to palmate newts, sticklebacks, pond snails, frogs and toads, as well as several species of dragonfly
  • Look for treecreepers and long-tailed tits in the woodland 

All year round explore the industrial past and the geology.

What makes Clints Quarry so special? 

Clints Quarry is a fascinating place not only for wildlife, but for the geology and industrial archaeology, which is still noticeable across the nature reserve.

Now a haven for wildflowers

Damp conditions between the spoil heaps are ideal for northern marsh and common spotted orchid, whilst the drier slopes of the heaps have been colonised by wild strawberry, oxeye daisy, mouse-ear-hawkweed, carline thistle, rough hawkbit and pyramidal orchid – bee orchids are also found here at one of the most northerly sites in England.

Sheltered habitat for butterflies

This sheltered quarry provides with its profusion of flowers and grasses is an ideal habitat for butterflies.

Throughout the summer on sunny days you can find common blue butterflies, orange tip, gatekeeper, ringlet, and meadow brown butterflies.

Around the ponds

There are four ponds on the nature reserve and frogs and toads breed here.  You can also find palmate newt, stickleback and pond snails.

Keeping it special

Scrub and trees are becoming established in the quarry and we have ongoing work to maintain the open nature of the site and the species-rich grassland.

Rabbits have helped maintain the grassland in the past but their numbers have declined more recently.

The eastern part of the nature reserve is already wooded providing habitat for a range of typical woodland birds.

Industrial history

In the 1600s the Carboniferous limestone rock was used for building and agriculture, and more recently in the local steel-making industry until quarrying finally ceased in 1930.

Recent history

Clints Quarry nature reserve was purchased from British Steel and Lord Egremont in 1984.

Getting here

By car:

Clints Quarry lies 1.6km/1 mile north of Egremont. Take the A5086 towards Cleator then the first left signed for Moor Row. Parking is in a layby on the right just after the junction or 100m further on opposite the reserve entrance.

By bicycle:

The reserve is on National Route 72  Hadrian’s Cycleway.

By public transport:

Buses run from Whitehaven to Egremont. 

Contact us

Kevin Scott
Contact number: 01228 829570

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Take a virtual tour of Clints Quarry Nature Reserve

Upcoming events at Clints Quarry Nature Reserve

If there are any upcoming events at Clints Quarry Nature Reserve we'll show them to you below.

Explore Clints Quarry Nature Reserve with our Audio Trail

Track 1: Introduction

Track 2: Grassland

Track 3: Pools

Track 4: Spoil heaps

Track 5: The quarry face

Track 6: Woodland