AMBITIOUS plans to buy one of the region’s most famous landscapes for the public and build a visitor centre, monument to fallen miners and alter a famous walkway have been outlined.
Lazenby Bank, a privately owned 214-acre area of the Cleveland Eston Hills, is up for sale for £425,000.
A Facebook campaign to save it for the public was launched last month and has attracted 3,300 members.
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Now an official campaign group has outlined its grand vision and has raised £2,165 in its first 24 hours.
Lazenby Bank, between Redcar and Guisborough, includes the rocky plateau of Eston Nab, contains Bronze Age burial mounds, an Iron Age fort, the Grade II-listed remains of an ironstone mine and a Napoleonic War era beacon watch tower.
Craig Hornby, who is organising the campaign, said phases one and two would be to buy the land and then clean the area up.
The next phase would be to build a “significant” miners' memorial recording the names of the 375 men and boys killed in the Eston iron mines.
A final phase would be to build the Eston Hills Exhibition Centre.
Mr Hornby hopes the Cleveland Way could then be re-routed from Saltburn.
The filmmaker and local historian, said: “The new website went live yesterday and by teatime we had over £2,000 in online donations, including £1,000 from a lady in Yarm. The site could potentially be sold at anytime, it's got me running around like Bob Geldof."
Mr Hornby, who raised more than £100,000 to make a documentary about the Eston Hills called A Century in Stone, said even if the campaigners failed to buy the land, money raised would be put to good use conserving the area.
James Carruthers, of property agents George F White, which is selling the property on a behalf of a client, said the land was divided into eight lots.
So far no-one has expressed an interest in buying all of it.
To buy the Grade II-listed iron mine remains would cost £50,000 and Eston Nab, £80,000.
Malcolm Hodgson, national trails officer with responsibility for the Cleveland Way, said the idea of altering the route was “intriguing but unlikely.”
However, he said there could be scope for link routes with both the Cleveland and Teesdale Ways.
Log on to www.estonhills.info to find out more.