A NEW footbridge has been agreed across Red Dell Beck in the Coniston Coppermines to open up the area’s mining heritage to visitors.

The application by the Lake District National Park Authority was given the go-ahead by its development control committee.

The wooden crossing will go on the site of a former bridge which was once used to transport ore from a  mine called Deep Level to the Upper Bonsor Mill processing site.

A report said the bridge would enable walkers to cross the beck safely and allow people to explore the area’s mining heritage.

Coniston Parish Council supported the proposal as did Historic England which said it would allow visitors to trace one of the key ore transportation routes within the copper mines.

The copper mines are spread across 57 hectares and date back more than 400 years.

German miners were commissioned to work the fells by Queen Elizabeth I with the mines reaching their productive peak in the 19th century when around 600 people were employed there, according to a national park report.