A NEW visitor attraction is opening at the North York Moors National Park centre this weekend to celebrate its industrial heritage.

The centre, at Danby, has undergone a major revamp as part of the £4 million Lottery-funded Land of Iron project which showcases how the National Park’s landscape has been shaped over time.

The new visitor experience officially opens on July 20 coinciding with an 'Escape to the Moors' event, to mark the start of the summer holidays.

Across six rooms, the fully-interactive family-friendly experience leads visitors through the various natural habitats that exist within the National Park.

A specially-commissioned film highlights the glories of the North York Moors, while children can search for hidden characters in a graphic ‘timeline’.

Families can investigate life in a rock pool, discover what lives in a dry stone wall and operate a live-action feed from the centre’s nest-cam.

Visitors are also presented with the fun challenge of creating connectivity chains that help illustrate the intricate relationships between wildlife, nature and landscape in the moors.

The Victorian ironstone mining period is given special prominence, reflecting the importance of the industry when it was integral to the Industrial Revolution and left indelible marks on the landscape at spots like Rosedale and Grosmont.

As visitors walk through a re-created mine entrance, a dramatic animation of ironstone miners and kiln-workers brings the period to life- complete with scurrying mine rats, underground explosions and red-hot blast furnaces.

Archive photographs show the real people behind the stories, while interactive 3D holograms of iconic structures - such as the Bank Top kilns at Rosedale and Warren Moor Mine – invite visitors to explore the Park’s ‘Land of Iron’.

Meanwhile, the first floor revamp has created a hands-on play area centred on marble runs and digital displays that investigate the mechanics of moving ironstone around the moors.

Tom Mutton, the Land of Iron programme manager, explains: “The new visitor experience has been designed to act as a stepping stone for visitors before they explore the National Park by helping them piece together how past events, the natural world and land management have led to the views they will be seeing.”

The four-year Land of Iron project began in spring 2017 to record, protect and conserve the remaining landmarks and features relating to the ironstone mining period across a 77-mile swathe of the National Park.